Skip to comments.FAA Requires Upgraded Jet Fuel Tanks
Posted on 07/16/2008 3:29:04 PM PDT by John W
Washington, D.C. (AHN) - The Federal Aviation Authority is slated to issue Wednesday an order requiring aircraft jet fuel tanks to be upgraded in an effort to avert air disasters.
The requirement's introduction coincides with the 12th anniversary of the ill-fated TWA Flight 800 which exploded in 1996. The Boeing 747-100 was on its way to Paris from New York when it exploded off Long Island. All 230 passengers and crew perished.
According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), hot and highly explosive fumes in the aircraft's center tank ignited.
A majority of other large planes could be vulnerable to similar explosions, prompting the NTSB to recommend that all jets must be equipped with a device that would blow out flames in fuel tanks. Air carriers were against the recommendation because it involved high costs.
The cost issue was solved after an FAA scientist discovered a more affordable device in 2002 that covers fuel tanks with nitrogen gas to prevent explosions. The FAA gave air carriers 10 years to equip their jets with the device, but exempts planes that would be retired by 2018.
The requirement covers more than 3,000 aircraft used by American airlines, including the Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 models and all Airbus models. As of 2004, the cost of installing the device on existing jets was placed by the FAA at $700 million.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters will announce the details of the new FAA requirement at a news conference on Wednesday in Ashburn, Virginia.
How long do you think it will take for the conspiracy theorists to pollute this thread regarding TWA 800?
12 years later....how timely of the government to address the issue.
The FAA is till trying to sell folks on the TWA-800 center fuel tank fairy tale. Once upon a time children, there was this great big airplane...
Honest to God, does our government have anything better to do than continue to push the big lie?
Well, you answered your own question by posting that tripe.
My thoughts exactly. Must have been a real priority for them.
Well 12 years later, and how many more TWA-800s have we had?
I’m sure the reality of this is lost on them though.
...and 10 years to correct the problem? Something tells me no problem really exist.
Yes, you are correct. This was total BS.
This should help the struggling airline industry get back on its feet!
Nope. But fast moving projectiles will bounce off it like a shuttlecock.
Thanks. I remain amazed at how many people think that Clinton Administration/FBI/CIA con job was the gospel truth.
It's been ongoing...
We have (as a bus jet OEM SS) inspected existing tanks during inspection for quite some time. Even the wiring leaving the tanks and going into the cabin area for possible electrical induction because of this theory.
Better safe than sorry at little cost.
In 50 years of commercial jet powered flight, how may JP fuel tanks have spontaneously combusted in mid-air?
Total BS your comments especially.
Ongoing or not, 22 years to correct a potential problem tells me there is no problem.
Better safe than sorry at little cost.
22 years after the fact is not consistent with "Better Safe than Sorry".
There was a desperate attempt to name anything at all that looked like it could be similar to this, but I wasn't buying.
Look, I followed the TWA-800 thing very close, but I'm not a member of the industry or someone who has special knowledge other than that.
This just wreaked from day one IMO.
And considering the thousands of similar accidents since, not a moment too soon...
The cover up continues.
Please read the article carefully. It gives the airlines an additional 10 years to correct the problem, hence the 22 year statement.
My apologies...the arilines have until 2012 to correct the problem...just a total of 18 years.
I think politicalwit was referring to the fact that any airplane being removed from the fleet in the next 10 years (2018) is excempt from the "fix it!" requirement. The fleet has been flying for 12 years without this oh-so-important fix, and quite a few of them will continue flying for another 10 without it. (== 22 years)
I'm no conspiracy nutter, but if they truly thought that's what took down TWA 800 they'd put out an Emergency AD and just order everyone to fix it *now*; costs be damned ... like the 737 aileron problems last summer.
If it turns out they are right about the center fuel tank, then it will be interesting to watch legal paperwork flying if another one blows up in 2018 just shy of its retirement party due to their failure to address the issue in a timely fashion.
One is free to wonder, though, why the decision took twelve years...and its implementation will take yet another ten.
The center fuel tank issue is obviously "a safety problem devoid of any sense of urgency"...
Implement, trust, and then verify.
It works and makes flying safe.
Of course it takes time.
12 years later? Why did it take 12 years? And this is the same government the Democrats want to run our healthcare?
Since I don’t see /sarcasm, you should probably erase your tagline, at least for this thread.
What do they want? Nine dollar a gallon tanks?
BTW KC-135s are my ride of choice whenever I can catch a hop. Sometimes the boomers let you observe from one of the side couches.
Technically you are right. Look at post #4 to see what I was getting at.
Some priority? Some bean counter somewhere has put a value on our lives, now it’s time pay up. The cost issue was solved after an FAA scientist discovered a more affordable device in 2002 that covers fuel tanks with nitrogen gas to prevent explosions. The U.S. Air Force has been using a nitrogen gas blanket above the fuel on the larger aircraft for almost 40 years. Yes there have some crashes but not one explosion. You cannot have an explosion in 90% nitrogen environment. I have seen a couple C-5 crashes on TV, but no fires.
Hey K how are you, the only time I’ve seen a fuel tank spontaneously explode is when they screwed up and purged it with oxygen thinking it was nitrogen.
Hi Boomop! Hope all is well with you two!!
Let’s start with the fact that “you can’t place a value on human life” is a crock. Actuaries, juries, the EPA and the FAA do it every day.
Implementing something like a change in airline safety standards requires weighing the degree of risk vs. the cost. Lower the cost, and you change the equation; especially when it’s a political question with a lopsided number of lobbyists on one side.
The confluence of events that led to the TWA 800 explosion is unlikely to recur; but if it does, the consequences are dire. It is possible for a problem to be serious but not urgent.
Even when the problem is serious and the consequences clear, the government doesn’t move quickly; just look at car airbags. Their effectiveness was pretty well established at least a couple o decades before they were mandated.