Air Transport World

A reverser of misfortune. (Boeing 767 reverser system)

What little has been learned about the Lauda Air 767-300ER accident is enough to change certification criteria for aircraft with high-bypass wing-mounted engines and to require changes in the thrust reverser systems of many such aircraft in service.

While the twinjets are the cause of greatest initial concern, certification authorities, led by FAA, want extra safeguards against accidental in-flight thrust-reverser deployment on all aircraft. if manufacturers cannot show that an aircraft can fly through an inadvertent thrust reversal without harm "under any foreseeable condition in flight," reverser systems must be made fail-safe, Anthony Broderick, FAA associate administrator for regulation and certification, told ATW.

Only two facts are known about the Lauda accident: First, a catastrophic crash occurred and second, the left engine's thrust reverser deployed while the aircraft was at approximately Mach 0. …

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