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The Nation

FAA Orders Check of 737s' Flight Control

September 14, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The federal government ordered inspections Saturday of Boeing 737s flying worldwide to see if any have potentially defective flight control modules that could make the planes hard to control. The emergency order by the Federal Aviation Administration gives airlines 10 days to complete the review.

Each plane has two modules that control hydraulic fluid to the flight control system. A failure of both modules could significantly affect the system, making the planes sluggish to nearly impossible to operate, according to FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto.

The FAA said it's looking for a recent batch of modules that has a high rate of failure. Fifteen modules were found to be defective, four while in flight, 11 during inspections on the ground. None caused an accident, Takemoto said.

There are 84 foreign aircraft with the modules from the bad batch and nine U.S. 737s, he said.

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