By John Ikani
Boeing has issued a call to airlines to thoroughly inspect their 737 Max aircraft due to a potential issue with loose bolts in the rudder control systems.
The directive follows the discovery of a bolt lacking a nut by an international operator, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
While Boeing assured that the identified problem on the specific airplane has been addressed, the company, out of caution, is urging operators to conduct inspections and report any findings.
The FAA is closely overseeing these targeted checks for potential loose bolts in the 737 Max’s rudder control system.
“The issue identified on the particular airplane has been remedied,” Boeing stated. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending operators inspect their 737 Max airplanes and inform us of any findings. We informed the FAA and our customers and will continue to keep them aware of the progress.”
Boeing has suggested that the inspections, taking approximately two hours, be carried out within the next two weeks.
Any issues related to a malfunctioning rudder are likely to be detected during routine pre-flight checks, as flight crews routinely examine the rudder system before takeoff, according to Boeing.
Anthony Brickhouse, an air safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, emphasized the need for airlines to take the matter seriously, while reassuring the flying public that it does not raise significant concerns.
Anthony Brickhouse commented, “But as a member of the flying public, I don’t see this as an issue to be concerned about,” speaking to Reuters news agency.
Despite the advisory, Boeing shares experienced a 1% dip in midday trade. It’s worth noting that the Boeing 737 Max received clearance from US regulators to resume passenger flights in 2020 after a 20-month global grounding following two catastrophic accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia that claimed 346 lives.