FAA finds new issue with Boeing 737 that affects both NG and MAX aircraft

FAA says some parts will need to be replaced within ten days.
FAA says some parts will need to be replaced within ten days. Photo credit: Boeing.

US regulators say some Boeing 737 MAX planes may have faulty parts

The US Federal Aviation Administration has revealed it's found a new problem involving with Boeing's 737 aircraft, and this time it's not limited to the grounded 737 MAX 8.

The FAA says 133 737 NG or Next Generation aircraft as well as 179 MAX 8's may contain improperly manufactured parts and that the agency will require these parts to be quickly replaced.

Slats are movable panels that extend along the wing's front during takeoffs and landings to provide additional lift. The tracks guide the slats and are built into the wing.

Boeing's Next Generation aircraft include the 737-800 operated by Qantas and Virgin Australia.  Both airlines have confirmed to Newshub none of their aircraft are among those affected.

Boeing said it has not been informed of any in-service issues related to this batch of slat tracks. 

Boeing said it has identified 21, 737 NGs most likely to have the suspect parts and is advising airlines to check an additional 112 NGs. The NG is the third-generation 737 that the company began building in 1997.

The affected parts "may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process," the FAA said.

The FAA said a complete failure of a leading edge slat track would not result in the loss of the aircraft, but a failed part could cause aircraft damage in flight.

The FAA said it will issue an Airworthiness Directive to require Boeing's service actions to identify and remove the parts from service. It said operators will be required to perform this action within 10 days, but can continue to fly the planes during the 10-day period before the parts are removed.