Boeing calls for new 737 MAX safety checks as loose bolt is found by airline

Boeing 737 MAX 8

Planemaker Boeing is urging all Boeing 737 MAX operators to carry out safety checks after the discovery of a loose part aboard an aircraft.  

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the issue centers around a possible loose bolt in the rudder control system of 737 MAX aircraft. 

In a statement released on December 28, 2023, the FAA said that Boeing had recommended the inspections after an “international operator discovered a bolt with a missing nut while performing routine maintenance”. 

Boeing subsequently discovered an additional undelivered aircraft with a nut that was not properly tightened. 

“Under consultation with the FAA, Boeing has issued a Multi-Operator Message (MOM), urging operators of newer single-aisle airplanes to inspect specific tie rods that control rudder movement for possible loose hardware,” the FAA said. 

The FAA is asking all airlines to work through their approved Safety Management Systems to identify any previous issues with “loose hardware”. 

The FAA has advised that the inspection of each 737 MAX should take around two hours to complete 

“The issue identified on the particular airplane has been remedied,” Boeing said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending operators inspect their 737 MAX airplanes and inform us of any findings.” 

Although the Boeing 737 MAX is extremely popular with airlines, the aircraft type has been plagued with issues, not least two fatal crashes. 

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