DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
July 22, 2024
Boeing HQ
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Today’s key stories about Boeing center about quality problems, including a fastener issue on the 787 and Dutch Roll on a 737 MAX.  The former is another in a litany of quality problems that have plagued the 787 assembly line, but is unlikely to further slow deliveries of the 59 787s that Boeing had in inventory as of the first of the month.  

The latter is more significant, as the rudder power control unit (“PCU”) has been the subject of prior investigations and Boeing has had a series of rudder problems with the 737 dating back to the 737-300 and 737NG series models, in addition to the MAX.  Stay tuned to see where this investigation leads.  Could another Airworthiness Directive be in the formative stages, as more than one MAX has experienced rudder control difficulties.

One thing is certain, the FAA will be focusing more on inspections than on paperwork audits after the agency chief appeared before a congressional committee seeking more information on the Alaska Airlines incident in January.  Further inspections could result in additional issues, particularly as the FAA is now also following up on whistleblower complaints about specific problem areas from a quality standpoint, and apparently more than 30 have stepped forward.

In the interim, MAX production levels remain quite low.  Barclay’s indicated that Boeing has delivered only 43 MAX jets during Q2, including 8 so far this month.  At that rate, we expect a massive Q2 loss for Boeing, as the 737 MAX is its primary cash generator.

Meanwhile, a story from India indicates that airlines could return to a position in which they trust Boeing, but that a ‘show me’ attitude now exists before trust can be rebuilt through the delivery of exceptionally clean aircraft that are built safety first.  Airlines today don’t trust Boeing’s financially driven culture, which needs to change.

Links to today’s key stories follow:

  • Boeing to check undelivered 787s due to fastener issue – France 24
  • FAA chief admits agency ‘too hands-off’ in oversight of Boeing – CNN
  • Boeing 737 MAX grounded after ‘Dutch Roll’ – Newsweek
  • Barclays: Boeing delivered 43 MAX jets in Q2, 8 in June – Investing
  • Airlines ready to trust Boeing again, but want quality and safety in place – Mint
author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

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