Cracks Found on 38 Boeing 737NG Aircraft
Airlines have reported finding 38 structural cracks on Boeing 737NGs after inspecting 810 aircraft in the worldwide fleet.
The affected aircraft have been taken out of service until repairs are completed, Boeing said.
The US Federal Aviation Administration last week issued a directive to aircraft operators to inspect 737NG aircraft after cracking was found on the connector between the 737’s wings and the fuselage known as a “pickle fork”.
The directive requires airlines to inspect US registered 737NGs in the -600, -700, -800 and -900 series. Aircraft with more than 30,000 flight cycles must be inspected within seven days, and those between 22,600 and 29,999 cycles must be inspected within the next 1,000 cycles.
In total, 1,911 737NGs operated by US airlines are included in the directive, with at least 165 older models to be inspected within seven days.
Boeing has not disclosed which airlines have found cracking, but Southwest Airlines and Brazil’s Gol have grounded several of the aircraft after inspections.