FAA says first round of 737 Max inspections completed

FAA says first round of 737 Max inspections completed

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that an initial round of inspections of 40 Boeing 737 Max 9 plans has been completed, but those planes and many other Max 9 plans will remain grounded while the agency finalizes a process inspection for them.

On Friday, the FAA announced it was requiring 40 inspections before approving new inspection and maintenance instructions developed by Boeing. The agency grounded 171 Max 9 projects this month after a door panel tore off an Alaska Airlines flight as it climbed after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, forcing an emergency landing.

In its statement Wednesday, the FAA said it would review data from the 40 inspections and that plans for the 737 Max 9 with door panels would remain grounded until the agency approves instructions to airlines to inspect the plans. The door panels go where an emergency exit door would be in a different configuration of the aircraft.

“The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timing of returning these aircraft to service,” the agency said in the statement.

Last week, the FAA announced it was investigating whether Boeing failed to ensure the 737 Max 9 was safe and conformed to the design approved by the agency. The incident involving the Alaska Airlines flight did not result in serious injuries, but it could have been much more serious if it had occurred while the plane was at cruising altitude.

In its statement Wednesday, the FAA said it was “investigating Boeing’s manufacturing practices and production lines, including those involving subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems,” which produces the 737 Max fuselage.

Boeing said it would cooperate with the FAA’s investigation and announced Monday it would make changes to its quality control processes. The aircraft manufacturer declined to comment on the FAA statement.

A Spirit AeroSystems spokesman, Joe Buccino, said the company “supports Boeing’s efforts with the FAA and affected airlines as they inspect the 737-9 fleet and work to return these aircraft to service.” safe service.

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David B.Otero

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