The hits keep on coming for Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines across the country to begin inspections of their Boeing 737-Next Generation models after the company discovered structural cracks in the plane's 'pickle forks."
"Boeing notified the agency of the matter after it discovered the cracks while conducting modifications on a heavily used aircraft. Subsequent inspections uncovered similar cracks in a small number of additional planes," the agency said in a statement about the problem. "The FAA will instruct operators to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately."
Airlines who operate the 737 Next Generation planes will be required to make inspections of the plane's pickle forks, which connected the fuselage with the wings on the plane. That particular part of the plane is supposed to be rated to last more than 90,000 landings and takeoffs without cracking, KOMO reported, with potentially catastrophic results for the plane if that system fails while the aircraft is in flight.
"No in-service issues have been reported," Boeing said in a statement about the cracking issue. "Over the coming days, we will work closely with our customers to implement a recommended inspection plan for certain airplanes in the fleet. This issue does not affect any 737 MAX airplanes or the P-8 Poseidon."
The 737 Next Generation planes include models designated: 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900.
The news adds to a long list of problems with Boeing's planes after the FAA grounded all Boeing 737 Max planes in March following issues with the plane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), that led to the crash of two airplanes, which left more than 300 people dead.
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