Boeing, the U.S. commercial aircraft manufacturer, has recently issued an advisory to airlines operating its 737 Max commercial airplanes. This advisory comes after a routine maintenance check on one of these aircraft revealed a loose bolt in the rudder control system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed this development on Thursday.
In a related discovery, Boeing also found a nut that was not properly tightened in an aircraft yet to be delivered. Although no damages have been reported, Boeing has taken this step as a precautionary measure.
The company emphasizes that the required inspection is straightforward, involving the removal of an access panel to visually check for proper installation. This process is estimated to take about two hours for each airplane.
Boeing Says Potential Issues Would be Found During Routine Checks
Boeing has reassured the public and stakeholders that any potential issues with the rudder, a critical component for flight safety, would likely be detected during routine pre-flight checks, which include a thorough examination of the rudder system.
“The issue identified on the particular airplane has been remedied,” the statement from Boeing said. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending operators inspect their 737 Max airplanes and inform us of any findings. We informed the FAA and our customers and will continue to keep them aware of the progress.”
Despite these assurances, Boeing’s shares experienced a slight dip, decreasing by 1% in midday trading. This situation unfolds as the Boeing 737 Max continues its operations after being grounded for 20 months. The model was previously barred from flying passengers due to two tragic accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia, which collectively claimed the lives of 346 individuals. The 737 Max was cleared to resume passenger flights by US regulators in 2020.