Boeing has recently sent out a notification to airlines, kindly requesting them to carefully examine their 737 Max aircraft for any loose bolts that may be present in the rudder control system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assured that they will be diligently overseeing these particular inspections. This instruction follows an incident where a bolt without its accompanying nut was found by an international operator during their routine maintenance check. This occurrence prompted Boeing to take proactive measures in order to ensure safety.
The FAA disclosed that Boeing released the directions for inspection after they found a nut on an aircraft that hadn’t been tightened correctly. Boeing confirmed that they fixed the problem on that particular plane, but as a safety measure, they advised all operators to examine their 737 MAX planes and share any discoveries. Boeing has promised to provide regular updates to both customers and federal regulators regarding the status of these inspections.
Despite the potential risk, Boeing emphasized that there have been no in-flight incidents related to this condition to date. The company pointed out that routine checks performed by flight crews would detect any issues with the rudder before an aircraft departs from the gate.
Boeing has agreed to carry out the inspections on every aircraft scheduled for delivery, with an estimated two hours needed for each aircraft. Airlines in the United States that operate Boeing 737 Max aircraft, including as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, have all stated that they do not anticipate any operational effects. These inspections are already a part of the usual nightly maintenance performed by airlines like Southwest.
Although each airline did not specify a particular schedule for the inspections, Alaska Airlines expects to finish the process by the first half of January. Following two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed 346 lives, Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft were grounded globally for 20 months. This event comes after that period. An automated flight-control system had problems, according to investigations, and Boeing came under fire for withholding information about the system from pilots and airlines until after the first tragedy. In response, the FAA required improved safety disclosures and established a more thorough certification procedure for large aircraft.