Want to know why all the MD80 and MD88 aircraft are grounded and getting re-inspected?? You have I'm sure heard the explaination by American and Delta that it is a 'technical compliance issue' not a safety issue.. ALL the aircraft were inspected..
Well it goes like this: the inspection requires that a bundle of wires that are in the wheel-well area be inspected for chaffed insulation, cracks in insulation, and abrasion wear from the wires rubbing against each other.. The bundle has to have it's protective spiral of nylon, that looks like a heavy duty nylon spring wrapped around the wires, this protective nylon spiral is cut off, each wire inspected, repairs made, then a new nylon spiral installed,, and then there are to be tie-wraps, sometimes called zip-ties installed around the wire bundle, to hold it all together and rigid. These zip-ties are just like the ones that come with many trashbags, just more heavy duty..
The inspection directions state that the zip ties are to be spaced 1" apart.. well the FAA found that on many of the airplanes that there were several spots on the wire bundles that the zip ties were more than 1" apart,, as much as 1.25" yes, an extra 1/4" between the zip ties.. The FAA has decided that the whole inspection process is faulty, and the entire inspection must be performed again, and the zip-ties MUST be 1" apart..
The airlines asked to be allowed to just add an addtional zip tie between the ones 1.25" apart,, But no,, the FAA will not allow it. So there are about 500 aircraft grounded... all over a 1/4" too-wide space between two zip-ties...
The FAA is retaliating because they were cited as being lax in allowing Southwest to extend an inspection on some of their aircraft.. So since they got cited,, the airlines and the flying public are going to 'pay'.. Just ridiculous..