Indonesia's Lion Air Finds Cracks in Two 737 NGs with Fewer Flights Than FAA Safety Directive (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published November 08, 2019)
JAKARTA / WASHINGTON --- Lion Air has found structural cracks in two Boeing Co 737 NG planes with fewer flights than a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) threshold for checks, Indonesia’s aviation safety regulator said on Friday.
The discovery could make it more likely the FAA will require airline operators to inspect 737 NGs with fewer than 22,600 cycles, which had not been mandated previously. Each cycle typically represents one flight, with a takeoff and a landing.
The cracks are on what is known as the “pickle fork,” a part that attaches the plane’s fuselage, or body, to the wing structure.
An FAA spokesman said the agency had asked operators to report any cracks so it could assess whether it needed to change its inspection orders.
The Lion Air jets with cracks had fewer than 22,000 cycles and are now grounded for repairs, a spokesman for the airline said. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.
Audit of Boeing’s 737 Max Fixes Could Delay FAA Ungrounding (excerpt)
(Source: Bloomberg News; published Nov. 06, 2019)
By Alan Levin
Regulators overseeing changes on Boeing Co.’s 737 Max rejected an audit of how the software was being developed, prompting the company to make revisions and possibly slowing the return of the jetliner to service, said a person familiar with the action.
The issue with Boeing’s audit was brought up in recent days at a meeting in a Collins Aerospace Systems facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, attended by officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, said the person.
Boeing and Collins, a division of United Technologies Corp. that developed computer automation on the 737 Max, are making changes to a safety feature on the jet that was involved in two fatal crashes on the plane that killed 346 people. As a result of testing in recent months, Boeing is also undertaking a more complex revision of how the flight computers on the plane function.
Full audit results are required before final simulator tests of the changes can be conducted. Depending on how long it takes to satisfy FAA and EASA, it could push back a certification flight test and regulators’ final decision on lifting the flight ban by a few days or even weeks, said the person. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Bloomberg website.