Boeing 737 rudder control fix to be mandated

 - May 22, 2008, 6:17 AM

Boeing completed a redesign of a 737 rudder control system and, as expected, the FAA formally proposed an AD that will require the installation of the system on some 2,000 Boeing 737-100s, -200s, -300s and -400s within a five-year period. The AD stems from the investigation into two fatal accidents (a 737-300 near Pittsburgh in 1994 and a 737-200 in Denver in 1991) and one incident (a 737-200 near Richmond, Va., in 1996) attributed, in part, to an uncommanded rudder hardover or jammed rudder. The new parts are expected to cost operators about $182,000 per aircraft. Installation downtime is estimated at 700 hr per aircraft. Comments on the proposed AD are due January 14. Modifications to the 737 rudder control system have been required under an existing AD issued in June 1997.