The federal Aviation Authority in America has ordered checks on nearly 800 Boeing 737’s in America after the fire at Okinawa airport last week. The problem may lie with a small bolt attached to a moveable slat system on the wing’s leading edge, which can puncture the fuel tank and leak kerosene. A hole was found in a fuel tank in the wrecked Okinawa plane, which investigators believed allowed fuel to leak along the wing until it was ignited by a motor.
A further 1500 737’s are flown by overseas companies. Two years ago Boeing warned airlines the bolt could work loose and hole the nearby fuel tank after reports came in of four nuts working loose. The warning was updated last year, and again last month. One of the plane’s largest users, Europe’s biggest budget carrier Ryanair, says inspections have begun and will be finished ahead of the 24- day deadline.