The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive to inspect Boeing 737NG aircraft with more than 22,600 cycles within a year, and for aircraft with more than 30,000 cycles within one week. Inspections can be completed by borescope without a major teardown of the airframe, and will likely be conducted overnight by most airlines. Of course, where cracks have been found, replacement will be necessary, which, given the need to tear the aircraft down to its basic structure as in a D-Check, and that substantial hangar time cannot be inexpensive.
With most narrow-body aircraft flying about 3,000-3,500 cycles annually, problems seem to be emerging on aircraft more than 11 years old. Given that there are thousands of 737NGs in service, a major problem would be costly for Boeing.
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