The Federal Aviation Administration says there’s a new problem with some of Boeing’s 737 commercial jets. More than 300 of the planes, including some of the grounded Max versions of the jets, may have faulty parts on their wings.
Though the problem is not considered something that could lead to a crash, Boeing is contacting airlines that own the 737s in question, and the FAA has issued an airworthiness order directing airlines to immediately inspect the aircraft.
Boeing and the FAA say some slats on the leading edge of the wing on some 737s may have been manufactured improperly by a Boeing supplier and could develop premature cracks.
The FAA says none of the parts have failed, and even a complete failure would not result in the loss of an aircraft — but it could damage a plane in flight and the agency is, therefore, issuing the airworthiness directive.
In a statement, Boeing says it has identified 21 Next-Generation 737s and 20 737 Max jets that appear to have the faulty part, but the company wants another 271 planes checked out.
The manufacturing defect is unrelated to a flight control system on the 737 Max that has been linked to two recent crashes that killed 346 people and led to all Max planes being grounded worldwide.
Such advisories about potentially faulty parts are not uncommon, but this one comes at a time Boeing and the FAA are under increased scrutiny because of the Max problems.