A fire in the bilge area of a Boeing 767 cargo compartment burned through insulation blankets and prompted the FAA to issue an airworthiness directive (AD) for U.S.-operated -200s and -300s. The insulation blankets were intended to prevent smoke from migrating behind the cargo compartment sidewall liners and into the main cabin.
U.S. operators must replace the cargo compartment insulation blankets with new blankets that incorporate fire stops, per Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0550 dated Jan. 30, 2015.
Boeing and United Airlines expressed support in submitted comments for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), published Aug. 20, 2016, that developed this AD. To address 767s with winglets, Aviation Partners Boeing stated that their installation per "Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01920SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer’s service instructions.” The FAA agreed and did not modify the AD for these aircraft.
The FAA estimates a total of 26 aircraft with U.S. registry could be affected, at a cost of $4,590 per aircraft, or up to $119,340 in total for U.S. operators. However, the FAA points out that Boeing may cover some of the costs under warranty.The AD, effective Jan. 31, 2017, calls for compliance within 36 months, or Jan. 31, 2020. The average age for U.S. registered Boeing 767-200 and-300s combined is 25.4 years, according to Aviation Week’s Fleet Discovery.