Travel Risk in Hong Hong Increases after Police Seize 1st Homemade Pipe Bomb

6 more held over 1st seizure of homemade bomb in HK

HONG KONG – Six more people, including two students, were arrested on Wednesday in connection with a homemade pipe bomb seized by police – the first one found in Hong Kong.

The day before, police had defused a handmade bomb containing 40 grams of explosives in a subdivided flat in Mong Kok and arrested four people.

ALSO READ: HK govt warns of homemade bombs as explosives seized

At a public briefing on Wednesday, police said they arrested six more suspects, all males aged from 17 to 23 years, in different districts. The suspects included two students, a kindergarten teacher, a barista and two unemployed people.

They were arrested on suspicion of manufacturing explosives, possessing dangerous substances, and illegal assembly. Police believe they are members of a radical group with a low profile, adding that they intended to use the bomb to attack police officers or vandalize police facilities by detonating the device at a mass public event.

Police said it is the first time that a homemade pipe bomb had been found in Hong Kong. This type of bomb, often used overseas to attack government facilities, could cause serious injuries even death after exploding into small pieces.

The police reiterated that making explosives with the intent to endanger life or property is a serious crime punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Reported by China Daily Hong Kong on 16 January, 2020.

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Boeing increased Travel Risk by installing failed parts on 737 aircraft

FAA Proposes $5.4 Million Civil Penalty Against The Boeing Co.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $5.4 million civil penalty against The Boeing Co. for allegedly installing nonconforming slat tracks on approximately 178 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which Boeing subsequently presented as ready for airworthiness certification.

This proposed civil penalty is in addition to a previously proposed civil penalty of more than $3.9 million against Boeing for allegedly installing the same nonconforming components on approximately 133 Boeing 737 NG aircraft. The FAA sent that letter to Boeing in early December.

Slat tracks are located on the leading edge of a Boeing 737’s wings and are used to guide the movement of panels known as slats. These panels provide additional lift during takeoff and landing.

The FAA alleges that Boeing failed to adequately oversee its suppliers to ensure they complied with the company’s quality assurance system. The agency contends that this failure resulted in the installation of slat tracks that were weakened by a condition known as hydrogen embrittlement that occurred during cadmium-titanium plating.

The FAA further alleges that Boeing knowingly submitted aircraft for final FAA airworthiness certification after determining that the parts could not be used due to a failed strength test.

The agency alleges that the affected slat tracks were processed by Southwest United Industries (SUI), a third-tier supplier to Boeing… Between June 29, 2018, and July 1, 2018, SUI subsequently shipped the parts to Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. (Spirit), which then delivered the parts to Boeing.

The FAA also alleges that SUI notified Kencoa Aerospace, LLC, on July 6, 2018, that a batch of slat tracks had failed a quality test indicating the presence of hydrogen embrittlement. Kencoa passed that information to Spirit on or about Aug. 3, 2018.

The FAA alleges that Spirit informed Boeing of the situation on or about Sept. 11, 2018, and subsequently proposed that Boeing accept the parts as delivered. On Oct. 9, 2018, Boeing rejected that proposal and instructed Spirit to submit a Notice of Escapement. Spirit filed that notice on Feb. 14, 2019, according to documents.

The FAA further alleges that from Aug. 16, 2018, through Oct. 9, 2018, Boeing certified as airworthy approximately 13 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft potentially equipped with those slat tracks. Between Oct. 10, 2018, and Mar. 10, 2019, Boeing certified an additional 165 potentially affected 737 MAX aircraft as airworthy.

The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Aug. 15, 2019, mandating inspections of the affected aircraft that were proposed in a June 24, 2019 Boeing service bulletin. The AD specified various actions based on the ability to identify the slat tracks.

The FAA alleges that Boeing failed in this instance to maintain its quality system to ensure suppliers adhered to Federal Aviation Regulations.

Boeing has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Reported by Air Transport News on 11 January 2020.

Southwest Airlines Operated Flights with Incorrect Calculations of Weight and Balance Data

FAA Proposes $3.92 Million Civil Penalty Against Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $3.92 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating multiple aircraft on commercial flights with incorrect calculations of weight and balance data.

The FAA alleges that between May 1, 2018, and August 9, 2018, Southwest operated 44 aircraft on a total of 21,505 flights with incorrect operational empty weights, and center of gravity or moment data. This weight-related information is used along with other data in determining how many passengers and how much fuel can be safely carried, as well as where cargo must be located.

The FAA alleges that Southwest’s operation of these aircraft was contrary to the airline’s approved weight-and-balance program and FAA-issued operations specifications.

Southwest has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Reported by Air Transport News on 11 January 2020.