Repair Issue Prompts 787 Fire Shutoff Switch Swap Order

Boeing 787
Credit: Boeing

Boeing 787 operators must check engine fire shutoff components to ensure the parts function as intended following Boeing’s discovery of issues linked to a supplier’s “re-work” of the parts, a draft FAA airworthiness directive said. 

The directive, set for publication July 8, flags engine fire shutoff switches (EFSS) located on the flight deck. “The FAA has received a report indicating that [foreign object debris, or FOD] could have been introduced in the left or right EFSS having certain serial numbers during rework at a sub-tier supplier,” the agency explained. “FOD in an EFSS, if not addressed, could result in a latent failure and loss of intended functions, including the inability to pull the engine fire handle and uncommanded activation of the engine fuel shutoff function.” Everett, Washington-based Korry supplies the 787’s engine fire control panel. 

Boeing outlined the issue in a May 2022 alert requirements bulletin sent to operators. The problem is linked to a 2021 directive that called for replacing panel shutoff switches—or swapping entire panels—on most 787s with a new, modified design. A specific subset of parts re-worked as part of efforts to comply with the 2021 mandate have the FOD problem. But because the assemblies are rotables and can be installed in any 787, the new directive will ask operators to verify that none of the panels they have on hand—either installed on aircraft or available as spares—contain parts from the identified subset or have been validated post-modification.

Re-worked assemblies that have been inspected and validated as working are marked with “Inspection Record SB D533-1X-003,” the bulletin said. The directive does not specify a proposed compliance time, referring instead to Boeing’s suggested deadline in its May bulletin, which has not been made public.

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.