Operators of aging Boeing 777-200 aircraft that have accumulated at least 45,000 flight cycles must comply with new inspection requirements, as outlined in an airworthiness directive that FAA just published.
The AD, effective April 1, mandates that operators inspect fuselage skin lap splices at certain sections for cracking—and fix them if damaged.
The final rule AD also requires operators to modify the left- and right-side lap splices at certain stringers, which Boeing found can be subject to widespread fatigue damage.
This affects 21 U.S.-registered aircraft, according to the FAA. The agency estimates that the inspection and modifications will cost $230,605 per aircraft, based on 2,713 work-hours at $85 per hour. Post-modification inspections will be $118,235 per inspection cycle, based on 1,391 work-hours, according to FAA estimates.
The AD follows Boeing alert service bulletin 777-53A0052 dated Oct. 14, 2014, and an FAA notice of proposed rulemaking for the aircraft dated Aug. 25, 2015.
The 777-200’s first flight was June 12, 1994, and United Airlines flew the first 777 in revenue service in June 1995.