FAA plane safety seminar to be in Taipei


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation will hold an aircraft maintenance safety seminar in Taipei Oct. 4-5, with some 120 technicians and executives from Taiwan and abroad attending.

Officials with the Civil Aeronautics Administrative under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday that this will be the first international meeting held by the FAA in Taiwan.

They added that the seminar will be similar to those the FAA has held previously in Japan and China to enhance aviation safety through exchanges on aircraft repair and maintenance techniques.

The officials said that in addition to technicians and representatives from domestic airlines, Thai Airways and Korean Airlines will also send technicians to the seminar.

Taiwan became a focus of world attention recently when a Boeing 737-800 jet of its China Airlines burst into flames and exploded shortly after landing at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan, on Aug. 20. The 157 passengers and eight crew aboard the jet had a narrow escape only seconds before the explosion.

Japanese investigators said a loose bolt on the right wing slat pierced the fuel tank and caused the fire and explosion. The international aviation sector believes the Boeing 737 aircraft might have a design flaw, because similar bolt problems were found in four other Boeing 737s.

Before the CAL accident, the FAA had urged visual checks for loose bolts on all Boeing 737 series jets in response to reports of 23 cases in which bolts on the wing slats of Boeing 737 series were found to have come loose.