Boeing has recently issued a worldwide alert, urging airlines to inspect its 737 MAX planes for a possible loose or damaged fastener. Boeing said in a statement on Wednesday, the loose or damaged bolt may potentially affect the safe operation of the aircraft.
Boeing identified the issue during the post-production verification process of the fastener’s performance. As a result, airlines and maintenance providers must verify the correct installation of a specific type of fastener on all 737 MAX aircraft. The affected fastener is used to connect the horizontal stabilizer trim system actuator, known as the “jackscrew.”
The company is working with its customers to identify and resolve the issue with the fastener, and it is offering corrective action plans where necessary. Boeing said “safety is a core value at Boeing and our engineering teams have conducted extensive inspections of affected model aircraft and will continue to perform inspections until the resolution is complete.”
Boeing has urged airlines to inspect the fasteners on a regular basis, depending on the airline’s individual maintenance programs. Additionally, the company has developed a specific maintenance procedure and provided it to 737 MAX operators. Boeing is also offering technical advice and plans to install a replacement fastener if necessary.
This inspection comes after the grounding of 737 MAX planes due to two crashes, one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia, which claimed the lives of almost 350 people. The FAA mandated the grounding of all 737 MAX aircraft in March 2019, but an international panel of aviation safety experts found in April 2020 that it was safe to return the aircraft to service with changes in training and operational procedures.
The ongoing inspection of the fastener issue is another step in the lengthy process of returning the 737 MAX planes to service. Boeing has said it is working closely with its airline partners to ensure the safety of its passengers. With this latest measure, Boeing is making sure that the 737 MAX is the most secure plane that’s flying the skies.