American Airlines Cancels 200+ Flights for Safety Inspections

Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines today voluntarily canceled more than 200 flights, accounting for nearly 10 percent of its schedule, in order to conduct safety inspections of its MD-80 aircraft. The airline has canceled dozens of flights at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration recently raised concerns about how a bundle of wires is secured to the aircraft. The inspection process takes several hours to complete for each aircraft. MD-80s compose more than 45 percent of the airline's fleet.

In an apparently unrelated story, ASTM International Committee F39 on Normal and Utility Category Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems announced yesterday that it has recently approved F2639, Practice for Design, Alteration and Certification of Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems, a standard developed by Subcommittee F39.01 on Design, Alteration and Certification, as a means of ensuring the safety of electrical wiring systems in airplanes.

According to Subcommittee F39.01 Chair Michael E. Richardson, F2639 will be used by original equipment manufacturers to select and install electrical wiring and equipment for aircraft that comply with FAA rules as detailed in Code of Federal Regulations 14, parts 23 and 25. "The alternation section of the standard provides guidance for modification of aircraft after initial FAA certification, while the certification section provides information and guidance on various certification processes," Richardson says, noting that some aircraft OEMs are already using this guidance, which was derived and updated from FAA Advisory Circular AC43-13-1B, chapter 11 to form ASTM F2639.

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