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FAA ORDERS U.S. AIRLINES TO FIX FAULTY FUEL PUMPS

The Federal Aviation Administration Friday ordered U.S. airlines to repair improperly built fuel pumps in Boeing 767s that could cause fires, but the agency stressed the problem had been corrected on the Lauda-Air Boeing 767 that blew apart over Thailand, killing all 223 people aboard.

In an airworthiness directive filed in Washington, D.C., the FAA said inspections on some 767s had turned up a defect in the fuel tank override boost pump in the center wing.The problem involves inadequate brazed joints in the pump that could lead to the separation of a "diffuser ring" and damage to the pump housing, the FAA said.

"This condition, if not corrected, could, during dry pump operation, result in the generation of sparks, thereby creating a potential ignition source," the directive said.

FAA airworthiness directives are mandatory for U.S. airlines only, but are usually followed by most foreign carriers. There are 367 Boeing 767s in operation worldwide.