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Boeing's Millions Worth Of Damages To Air Force One May Have Led To Flight Fire

14 May 2017, 10:16 am EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
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The presidential aircraft was almost compromised when maintenance mistakes made by Boeing mechanics could have led the Air Force One to catch fire. Boeing mechanics' mistake cost the company $4 million to date.   ( Joe Raedle | Getty Images )

A federal investigation found that three Boeing mechanics caused $4 million worth of damages to the Air Force One. According to the report, if not corrected, the errors could have caused the presidential plane to catch fire.

Aircraft Accident Investigation

A report released this week revealed the results of an aircraft accident investigation conducted by Air Force investigators. The report focused on a specific investigation that was done in 2016 between April 1 and 10 where investigators found serious errors made by three Boeing mechanics in the course of a maintenance service.

The supposed errors evidently came from the three mechanics' usage of contaminated tools, components, parts, and regulator. They also used unauthorized cleaning procedures during the oxygen system leak checks on the mishap aircraft (MA).

The report goes on to explain that according to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual, all components and tools used on the MA must be what is called "oxygen clean" so as not to exceed specified contaminant levels before oxygen system maintenance.

Describing the course of events, the report detailed how the three mechanics, code named Mishap Mechanic 1 (MM1), Mishap Mechanic 2 (MM2), and Mishap Mechanic 3 (MM3), compromised the maintenance service from the preparation stage until the assembly stage.

The regulator of the aircraft was checked by investigators after it was found to be non-oxygen clean, the result of which showed the contamination. Though no injuries were incurred due to the mistake, the report states that the mishap was a fire hazard and could have compromised the safe use of the aircraft.

$4 Million Mistake

Because it was their mechanics' mistake, Boeing paid for the repair costs that have amounted to $4 million to date.

Boeing's Board President found three factors that contributed to the mishap that could have caused serious damage. First, MM2 did not give warnings and reminders concerning the cleanliness and proper procedures of the task at hand. Second, the company itself was not able to oversee the maintenance service properly. Third, MM1, MM2, and MM3 failed to follow the proper cleanliness procedures during the service.

There is no word if any sanctions were given to MM1, MM2, and MM3.

"We took swift action to self-report the incident to the US Air Force. The oxygen system was remediated by Boeing at no cost to the government," said Boeing in a written statement given to CNN.

Boeing currently has a contract with the government to perform significant maintenance procedures on the two presidential military aircrafts, as well as to build two newer Air Force One jets.

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