As Boeing struggles to regain its credibility in light of ongoing 737 MAX issues, it now faces a new a brand new credibility crisis. After an Air Canada 787 developed a fuel leak, Boeing admitted that it falsified manufacturing records.
First reported by the CBC, Air Canada discovered a fuel leak on a 787 about 10 months after Boeing delivered it. After reporting the issue to Boeing, the aircraft manufactured acknowledged that certain manufacturing work had not been performed, even though the paperwork indicated that it had.
Boeing then “self-disclosed” the problem to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration after performing its audit, asserting it was an isolated event and that the issue was promptly addressed.
Immediate corrective action was initiated for both the Boeing mechanic and the Boeing inspector involved.
Air Canada inspected the remainder of its 787 fleet (35 aircraft) and did not find any other fuel leaks. An Air Canada spokesperson told the CBC:
All of our aircraft are subject to regular and thorough inspections and we maintain them in full accordance with all manufacturer and regulatory directives.
While good that this appears to be an isolated incident, it is another sobering reminder of the inherent risks in delegating some safety checks to the aircraft manufacturer, as the FAA did with Boeing (and Airbus). Even a small fuel leak can lead to a huge disaster.