Boeing's 737 MAX Rudder Inspections

Boeing issued a directive for airlines to inspect 737 MAX rudders due to potential loose bolts. The rudder, pivotal for controlling flight
737 MAX
737 MAXImage Source: Boeing

Synopsis:

Boeing issued a directive for airlines to inspect 737 MAX rudders due to potential loose bolts. The rudder, pivotal for controlling flight direction, faces scrutiny after reports of missing nuts. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) urges inspections but hasn't grounded the aircraft.

 

Article:

Boeing, through a Multi-Operator Message (MOM), has prompted airlines operating the 737 MAX to conduct thorough inspections of the aircraft's rudders. The rudder plays a vital role in flight control, acting as a "mini wing" on the tail section, exerting directional force.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced that Boeing requested inspections on specific tie rods governing rudder movement for potential loose hardware. Routine maintenance on one MAX revealed a bolt with a missing nut, prompting concern.

Further investigations unveiled an undelivered aircraft with improperly tightened hardware. Boeing claims to have rectified the issue but hasn't disclosed the airline or MAX model involved.

Despite these findings, the FAA hasn't called for grounding the fourth-generation 737 MAX series. They're overseeing targeted inspections and maintaining communication with Boeing and airlines.

Utilizing approved Safety Management Systems, operators are tasked with identifying any loose components. The FAA awaits updates from these inspections and remains open to taking additional measures if more hardware issues surface.

With over 1,370 delivered 737 MAX aircraft globally, Boeing emphasizes that older 737 Next Generation planes remain unaffected, assuring the continued safe operation of delivered 737 MAX models.

737 MAX Accidents:

Lion Air Flight 610: In October 2018, a Lion Air 737 MAX crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302: In March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed, claiming 157 lives. Both accidents raised concerns about the aircraft's automated flight control system.

Conclusion:

Boeing's directive for 737 MAX rudder inspections reflects a proactive approach to ensure flight safety. While no grounding has been ordered, ongoing assessments aim to prevent potential hazards related to loose hardware.

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