Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Several Boeing planes found to have wing defects

Boeing announced Sunday that some of its medium-haul 737s, including the 737 MAX 8, could have a defective wing part, but that there had been no reports of flight issues linked to the defect.

The American aviation giant, which has been rocked by an unprecedented crisis after its entire 737 MAX 8 fleet was grounded in mid-March, said a subcontractor informed it of problems with a batch of a part involved in deploying the wings’ leading edge.

READ MORE: Ethiopian Airlines Boeing crashes killing 157

The leading edge of an aircraft is key to takeoff and landing because it is meant to improve the wing’s drag and therefore the jet’s aerodynamics.

Boeing said in a statement that it had relayed the defective lot number to aircraft owners so they can inspect the parts in question.

If operators find the defective parts on their aircraft, they should replace them before putting the plane back in service, the company said.

“This is a device considered critical because if the leading edge slats don’t deploy symmetrically, there could be a lift differential that can be dangerous especially on takeoff and landing,” one aeronautics expert told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The planes were grounded after a combined 346 people died in two deadly crashes, the first in Indonesia in October followed by one in Ethiopia in March.

Long considered a “gold standard” internationally, the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s reputation has suffered amid scrutiny of its oversight process and reports it allowed Boeing to effectively self-certify some features of the MAX.

Boeing is working on a software fix that will allow the MAX 8 to begin flying again, but differences have arisen between the US and Canada on how to train pilots on the software after the update.

Washington believes training on computers or tablets is sufficient for seasoned pilots, but Ottawa wants to require training on flight simulators.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×