For Immediate Release

April 23, 2002
Contact: Allen Kenitzer
Phone: (425) 227-2004

RENTON, Wa. — The FAA has proposed to assess a $764,250 civil penalty against the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. The proposed penalty is for violating FAA regulations, particularly for failures to maintain Boeing's quality control system in accordance with the data and procedures approved in its production certificate.

During Oct. 1999, the FAA became aware that the adhesives used to fabricate the flight deck dripshields and Environmental Control System (ECS) ducts resulted in parts that did not meet the FAA flammability requirements. The dripshields manufactured from 1993-1999, were installed on Boeing 747, 757, 767, and 777 model airplanes. The ECS ducts manufactured from 1995-1999 were installed on Boeing 737, 747, 757, and 767 model airplanes.

Boeing failed to comply with an approved design by allowing material substitutions, one adhesive for another, resulting in Boeing's failure to maintain the designed flammability resistance for dripshields and ECS ducts. After further FAA evaluation, it was determined that these bonded materials presented an unsafe condition which led to the issuance of FAA Airworthiness Directives.

Since Oct. 1999, Boeing immediately replaced or reworked the dripshields and ducts on all affected airplanes in production. Boeing's rework of the airplanes entailed installing fire resistant materials around the dripshield; removing and rewrapping the ECS ducts with the proper materials.

After the identification of additional issues during Feb. 2000, Boeing collaborated with the FAA in conducting additional root cause investigations, and identified areas of broad systemic improvements.

Areas identified for improvements include clarifying and simplifying procedures and process, conducting additional training of personnel; emphasizing an attitude of internal compliance to those new processes and procedures and implementing metrics to gauge the health of the new processes and procedures.

Boeing has been provided with an opportunity to respond to the FAA's allegations in this case.

This announcement of the proposed civil penalty is made in accordance with the FAA's policy of releasing information to the public on enforcement actions in cases involving penalties of $50,000 or more.