The FAA has amended its existing airworthiness directive, 2019-22-10, to expand the inspection of the pickle forks in older 737NG models to surrounding areas, as additional cracking has been found on inspected aircraft. This inspection requirement will expand the downtime for 737NGs for inspection and potential repair and comes at a time when the MAX groundings have already negatively impacted the fleet requirements of 737 operators.
The new requirement expands the inspection area to additional fasteners that help attach the wings to the fuselage of the 737 NG. The additional inspections are already underway, according to Boeing, which has stated that they have a repair plan in place to address any findings.
The continuing barrage of negative news, which we have commented on, continues seemingly unabated every day, despite the best efforts of Boeing’s communications team – who are dealing with unfortunate realities. But the time may have arrived, in our opinion, for Boeing to consider re-branding the MAX.
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