Money & The Economy

Boeing Pauses Deliveries For Dozens Of Planes Due To Newly Discovered Issues

Boeing said in a memo to staff on Sunday that a supplier’s employee found misdrilled holes on some fuselages for 737 MAX jets, affecting about 50 undelivered airplanes.

The supplier of the fuselages is Spirit AeroSystems, which had a similar issue of misdrilled holes on the aft bulkhead of some MAX jets last year that caused delays, the company confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The increased scrutiny of Boeing products follows an incident on a plane operated by Alaska Airlines where a door plug blew out in-flight, prompting an emergency landing and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“A member of our team identified an issue that does not conform to engineering standards,” Joe Buccino, spokesperson for Spirit AeroSystems, told the DCNF. “Once notified, we began immediate actions to identify and implement appropriate repair solutions. We are in close communication with Boeing on this matter.”

Employees found issues with two drilled holes on some 727 fuselages that did not meet Boeing’s specifications, which have no impact on in-flight safety on the current fleet, Boeing told the DCNF. Boeing will rework the affected planes before they are delivered.

“This past Thursday, a supplier notified us of a nonconformance in some 737 fuselages,” the Sunday memo by Boeing read. “I want to thank an employee at the supplier who flagged to his manager that two holes may not have been drilled exactly to our requirements. While this potential condition is not an immediate flight safety issue and all 737s can continue operating safely, we currently believe we will have to perform rework on about 50 undelivered airplanes.”

United Airlines found loose bolts on at least five of its Boeing jets in its fleet in its own inspection following the Alaska Air incident.

The FAA cleared the affected 737 MAX-9 planes to return to flying in late January after each individual plane underwent a thorough inspection. Despite the clearance, the FAA halted all expansion on the production of the Boeing Max line of jets to improve quality control.

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