These Hawaii Planes Facing Two FAA Airworthiness Directives

Two pending directives could impact United Airlines and their Hawaii flights, which are an important fleet to the islands. The two airworthiness directives are being proposed by the FAA, including a second one on the same fleet just added this week.

Thursday, the FAA said, “The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of operators finding frequent and severe damage to the blowout vent grills of the aft soft bulkhead lining in the aft lower lobe cargo compartment.”

This proposed rule could result in an FAA directive requiring detailed inspections and repairs when damage is found.

While United plans to phase out these planes that are now up to 30 years in age, they have not done so yet. The aircraft can be found on a variety of Hawaii routes. BOH editors recently flew United’s 757 from Kauai to Denver.

The FAA said, “Boeing investigated the reported damage and found the blowout vent grills are vulnerable to being damaged during baggage loading and unloading…This condition, if not addressed, could result in the inability of the flight crew to maintain safe flight and landing.”

Another proposed directive addresses cracks in 757 airplane sides.

This proposed AD was prompted by cracks on both sides of the airplane,” said the FAA this summer. The FAA plans to mandate inspection or maintenance records checks. “The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe conditions of these products. This condition, if not addressed, could result in the inability of a structural element to sustain limit load and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.”

Does the age of a jetliner impact whether you want to fly on it to Hawaii?

You can be up to three hours from the nearest diversion point when flying between North America and Hawaii. And that gives us pause to think this over.

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6 thoughts on “These Hawaii Planes Facing Two FAA Airworthiness Directives”

  1. Yes. Age absolutely does matter. Don’t stop here, read on: I would MUCH rather be on an OLDER aircraft (757, 767, 747) than newer ones. Far less automation and less complex avionics. The 757 is, without a single doubt, the most comfortable narrow body aircraft ever built. I’d ride 727s and L1011s all day if there were any left.

    1. Gotta agree with you there. I’ve loved 757’s ever since they were introduced, flew them whenever possible. Luckily, United still flies them between Denver and the islands and their Fauxlaris (Polaris) class up front is more comfortable than so-called First Class on many other carriers.

      1. Rob L, Although the 747 has always been my favorite aircraft – the 757 is a close second. But, I don’t think I’ll ever get to fly them again, unless I can buy one HaHaHa

        Hopefully, I can get into the 787 Dreamliner one of these days.

  2. We’re scheduled to fly DEN-LIH-DEN in February on 757’s, and yes, this post caught my attention. So I went to the FAA website to check out Airworthiness Directives (AD’s) and saw that practically every type of airplane flying between Hawaii and the mainland has current or recent AD’s. According to this particular AD, the problem could have serious consequences IF (big if) it is combined with other (unlikely) problems. I’m not an aircraft mechanic, but some AD’s seemed slightly more serious than others. If one of your subscribers is an airline pilot or a mechanic, maybe they can shed more, and better, light on this.

  3. Does the age of a jetliner impact whether you want to fly on it to Hawaii?

    Nope. The only thing I want when I fly to Hawaii or any place for that matter, is a comfortable seat and ample legroom (at least 38 or 39 inches). And, I don’t want any fancy food. Penne pasta is all I need whether in coach or 1st class. Years ago, on a United flight to HNL, I was able to have the flight attendant swap my 1st class meal for the great pasta being served in coach.

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