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FAA orders inspection of Boeing 737 planes over oxygen mask issue

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File photo: An AirTran Airways Boeing 737-700 (Credit: Stephen M. Keller)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered an inspection of more than 2,600 Boeing 737 airplanes in the U.S. because of a potential issue affecting oxygen masks, officials say.

An Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the agency requires operators to ensure the passenger service unit (PSU) oxygen generators are in the proper position on certain Boeing 737 airplanes.

The order was issued on Monday after multiple reports of oxygen generators shifting out of position, which could potentially cause oxygen masks to fail during an emergency, according to Reuters.

The issue emerged after a new adhesive was introduced on the restraining straps of oxygen generators in August 2019. Boeing recently went back to the original adhesive for all new deliveries and issued a bulletin to airlines in mid-June.

“The AD requires operators to inspect the PSU oxygen generators and perform corrective actions, if necessary, within 120 to 150 days,” the FAA said in a statement. “The compliance time depends on the airplane configuration.”

The order affects certain Boeing 737-8, 9, -8200, -700, -800, and –900ER series airplanes, according to the FAA, which said 2,612 U.S.-registered planes will have to be inspected.

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