Boeing Co said on October 10 that the airline has conducted an inspection of 810 of the company's 737 NG jets worldwide and found 38 structural cracks that require repair and replacement of the damaged parts. The planes will be grounded until the final repairs have been made. The cracks have been discovered in an area that attaches plane's fuselage to the wing structure and manages forces. The 737 NG version is the third generation aircraft and is the version before the currently grounded 737 MAX, which is not impacted by the cracking issue.
Southwest Airlines Co (and Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas) grounded at least 13 737 NG airplanes after US regulators ordered urgent inspections on Wednesday, as per reports in International media. Sriwijaya Air of Indonesia said on Friday that it had grounded two aircraft. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the U.S aircraft operators to inspect 165 old 737 NGs for structural cracks. While the inspection the actual number of planes covered is more than 200. The FAA said on Thursday that a very minimal amount of aircraft stationed in the US have been removed from service as per the instructions to repair and replace the damaged parts. The agency said that it is cooperating with the manufacturers and other international aviation safety regulators to better understand the factors that led to the formation of the cracks. Spokeswoman Brandy King said more than 200 high use planes it had found cracks will be sent for servicing and declined to comment if cracks have been found on any other jets.
The shares of Boeing fell 1% to close at $371.00 on Thursday. The FAA said in the previous week that it would look for cracking of the left and right-hand side outboard chords of frame fittings and failsafe straps. It added that the cracking could badly affect the structural integrity of the aircraft and result in loss of control of the airplane. It has directed that aircrafts with more than 30000 cycles must be inspected within seven days while the aircrafts between 22,600 and 29,999 cycles must be checked within 1,000 cycles. In addition, 1,911 U.S. 737 NG airplanes are covered by the FAA directive.