FAA issue "emergency airworthiness" warning over Boeing 737 following engine failures
Boeing 737s need to be inspected.
The chief US aviation authority has issued an "emergency airworthiness directive" to any airlines operating Boeing 737 aircraft, including the Boeing 737-800 operated by Ryanair.
Airlines have been instructed to inspect certain parts of their aircraft, and replace them if necessary. The warning was prompted by four recent reports of single-engine shutdowns due to engine bleed air fifth stage check valves being stuck open.
"Corrosion of these valves on both engines could result in a dual-engine power loss without the ability to restart. This condition, if not addressed, could result in compressor stalls and dual-engine power loss without the ability to restart, which could result in a forced off-airport landing," the directive advises.
It is believed that the problem has arisen because the aircraft have not been flown regularly throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and are now at risk of sudden engine failure.
According to the FAA: "Any airplane that, for seven or more consecutive days, has not been operated in flight, is considered to be in 'storage'."
According to its website, Ryanair operates a fleet of over 450 Boeing 737-800 series aircraft. In 2015, Boeing noted that Ryanair was the largest customer of the 737-800 in the world. Aer Lingus mostly uses Airbus vehicles, as well as Boeing 757s.
The document can be read in full here.