Another flaw in Boeing’s 737 Max model of aircraft – that has been grounded throughout the world, has been found by airline safety regulators in the United States. The regulators also found the same flaw in the planes belonging to the generation previous to the 737 Max.
The airlines have been asked to check for improperly manufactured parts by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) among more than 300 737 aircraft which includes 179 of the Max model.
The identified flaw has been found in a part of the wing that aids provides the aircraft to gain lift during takeoff and landing, and the FAA said that this flaw “may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process”.
All of the Boeing’s 737 Max, it most cash cow and best selling passenger craft, was grounded throughout the world in March this year after two fatal crashes involving the same model within a span of five months. The two accidents – one each of involving planes from Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air disasters, resulted in the death of all the 346 people on board on both the planes.
Boeing had not been made aware of any problems about the potentially faulty parts during flying of the crafts, said the aircraft manufacturer. It is likely that the defective parts could be present in about 20 737 Max airplanes, the company said and added that an additional 159 planes would be checked by the airlines. Checks would also be done on another set of 133 of the 737 NG model which is a predecessor to the Max models of Boeing crafts.
There can be damage to a plane in flight of there is a complete failure of the part identified, which is called a leading-edge slat track, even though the fault would not result in a crash, the
FAA said. Those airlines that are using the defect affected NG planes should remove the defective parts within 10 days and in the meantime they can continue to fly them as usual, the company said.
However, the postponement of an order for 10 Boeing 737 max planes by the Azerbaijan airline AZAL still reflected the lingering concerns about that model of planes and is starting to become a cause of worry for Boeing.
A software update for the fault in the 737 max is yet to be finalized by Boeing even as the company is hopeful that the software fix would be able to placate regulators about the safety of the 737 Max crafts and their possible return to flying again. Even though investigations into both the crashes are still ongoing, preliminary investigations into both the cases have been pointed fingers at a controversial automated anti-stall system, MCAS, as the most probable reason for the crashes.
Regulators are not likely to give a green signal to allow the 737 Max to fly until at least August, said the head of the global airline trade body, IATA, last week. However the IATA however the also said that airline regulators outside of the US want to give the green signal separately instead of following the clearance by the FAA.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)