FAA directs urgent inspections on earlier Boeing 737s after door incident

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urges inspection of earlier Boeing 737s amid safety concerns.

NEW YORK, Jan 22: In the wake of a recent incident involving a door plug detachment from a newly manufactured Boeing 737 Max 9, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a directive on Sunday urging airlines to conduct inspections on an earlier generation of the aircraft, specifically the Boeing 737-900ER.

The focus of the inspections is on the panel responsible for plugging the hole where a mid-plane exit would be, along with the bolts designed to secure the panel in place. Several airlines that operate the earlier-built Boeing 737s have already conducted inspections following the Max 9 incident, revealing unspecified “findings with bolts,” as disclosed by the FAA.

While not specifying the nature of these findings, the FAA emphasized that both the earlier 737-900ER and the newer Max 9 share an “identical door plug design.” The notice does not enforce the grounding of the earlier generation planes but strongly recommends that airlines promptly inspect the four bolts intended to secure the door in place.

The Max 9 aircraft, involved in the recent incident, remains grounded in the United States. United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, after recent inspections, reported instances of loose bolts in the newer Max 9s. The FAA continues to assess data collected from inspections on a sample of 40 aircraft, determining the safety of allowing these planes to resume flights.

As of now, Boeing has not issued an immediate comment in response to the new FAA notice, and the aviation industry is closely monitoring developments to ensure the safety of Boeing 737s in operation.

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