Boeing has notified the Federal Aviation Administration that several of its aircraft, including the 737 MAX 8, may have been built with "improperly manufactured" wing parts that don't meet required standards for strength and durability.
Several Boeing Aircraft Used Improperly Manufactured Parts
Boeing has notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of an "improperly manufactured" wing slat track that was used in several of its aircraft, including the 737 MAX 8, that failed to meet standards for strength and durability, and that the issue may have affected as many as 148 parts manufactured by a Boeing supplier.
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"Following an investigation conducted by Boeing and the FAA Certificate Management Office (CMO)," the FFA said in a statement, "we have determined that up to 148 parts manufactured by a Boeing sub-tier supplier are affected. Boeing has identified groups of both 737NG and 737MAX airplane serial numbers on which these suspect parts may have been installed. 32 NG and 33 MAX are affected in the U.S. Affected worldwide fleet are 133 NG and 179 MAX aircraft."
Failure in these parts does not appear to threaten the loss of the aircraft, according to the FAA.
"The affected parts may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process. Although a complete failure of a leading edge slat track would not result in the loss of the aircraft, a risk remains that a failed part could lead to aircraft damage in flight."
Boeing is asking airlines to inspect the affected aircraft models, including a thorough check of an additional 159 aircraft from the 737 MAX line, and replace the slat tracks in question, if found, before returning the aircraft to service.
“We are committed to supporting our customers in every way possible as they identify and replace these potentially non-conforming tracks,” said Kevin McAllister, President & CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in a statement released by the company.