Boeing is recommending thorough inspections for potential issues in the rudder control systems of its 737 Max aircraft following the discovery of a bolt without a nut by an international operator. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the aeroplane maker called for these checks, emphasising the importance of addressing the matter promptly.
While Boeing confirmed that the specific issue identified in the aeroplane in question has been resolved, the company is urging all operators to inspect their 737 Max aircraft as a precautionary measure. Boeing has kept the FAA and its customers informed about the situation and will continue to provide updates on the progress of these inspections.
The FAA is actively overseeing these targeted inspections, specifically focusing on the rudder control system. Boeing recommends that these checks, which typically take around two hours, be conducted within the next two weeks. Notably, the company assures that any potential problems related to a loose bolt in the rudder would likely be identified during routine pre-flight checks, as flight crews routinely examine the rudder system before takeoff.
Boeing emphasised its commitment to safety and proactive measures, aiming to address concerns promptly and comprehensively. The decision to recommend inspections reflects the company’s dedication to maintaining the highest standards of aircraft safety.
Anthony Brickhouse, an air safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, underscored the importance of airlines taking the matter seriously. However, he also provided reassurance from the perspective of the flying public, suggesting that this particular issue may not pose significant concerns to passengers.
The stock market responded to this development, with Boeing shares experiencing a 1% decline in midday trade. Despite this, the company remains focused on ensuring the safety and reliability of its aircraft. The 737 Max, which faced a global grounding for 20 months after two fatal accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia, received clearance from US regulators in 2020 to resume passenger flights after comprehensive safety enhancements were implemented.
Boeing’s commitment to transparency and proactive safety measures reflects its dedication to maintaining public trust and ensuring the continued airworthiness of its aircraft. The ongoing cooperation between Boeing, regulatory authorities, and airline operators underscores a collective commitment to aviation safety.