In the wake of last week’s accident in which a cargo door blew off a United Airlines jumbo jet over the Pacific, the government Friday ordered the door latches on older 747s to be strengthened within 30 days.
The Federal Aviation Administration had ordered the modification July 1 but had given the airlines up to two years to complete the work.
“The situation changed when the door came off the United plane,” FAA spokesman Bob Buckhorn said. “That obviously called for an immediate review.”
The order affects about 150 jumbo jets operated by U.S. carriers.
United had complied with FAA instructions to inspect the door locks. But the airline had not yet made the modification on the aircraft involved in the Feb. 24 accident.
Nine passengers were swept to their deaths and 27 were injured when the door blew off the jumbo jet on a flight to New Zealand.