US Southwest Airlines has dropped two Boeing 737 NG jets for critical component cracks. The problems had been discovered in an inspection ordered by the US aviation authority (FAA), the airline said yesterday. However, the vast majority of the fleet examined was in order.
The two machines would only be used again if the problems were completely eliminated. Security is the top priority, the company emphasized.
The FAA had instructed some operators of Boeing’s 737 NG last Wednesday to inspect the machines for cracks within seven days. The manufacturer had discovered the problem itself and informed the authority about it. The risk of cracks is „pickle forks“, which are important components for attaching the wings to the fuselage. Under heavy load they can obviously wear out faster than expected.
Boeing affirmed in an opinion to actively support its customers in the investigations of the 737 NG. All the operators concerned were given detailed instructions and Boeing also participated in necessary repairs. „Safety and quality are our top priority.“ The 737 NG is the predecessor of the 737 Max aircraft, which was banned from launching almost worldwide in mid-March after two crashes involving a total of 346 dead.