Boeing notifies FAA about improperly made parts on 737 Max

Emirates predicts Boeing’s 737 Max won’t fly until after Christmas

Emirates predicts Boeing’s 737 Max won’t fly until after Christmas

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Sunday issued a statement alerting airlines and worldwide aviation regulators that certain wing parts on more than 300 Boeing 737s may have been improperly manufactured and must be replaced within 10 days. An Ethiopia Airlines crash in March killed all 157 people on board, marking the second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane in just five months.

Boeing said it contacted all 737 operators and told them to inspect the slat track assemblies on certain airplanes.

It's the latest problem Boeing faces as it tries to get its most important and popular airplane, the grounded 737 Max, back in the air.

The FAA is issuing an Airworthiness Directive to mandate Boeing's service actions to identify and remove the discrepant parts from service, estimating that "up to 148 parts manufactured by a Boeing sub-tier supplier are affected".

The company and the FAA said it has not been notified of any incidents related to the tracks on operating flights, and the fix should take a couple days to complete.

The FAA said the parts in question are the slat track assemblies, used to guide the movable control surfaces on the leading edge of an airplane's wings that deploy during takeoff and landing. Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul airline, itself doesn't operate the 737 Max, but it has partnerships with low-priced carrier FlyDubai, which has more than a dozen Max planes in its fleet and many more due to be delivered.

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If operators find the defective parts on their aircraft, they should replace them before putting the plane back in service, the company said.

In a separate statement Sunday Boeing said it has identified 21 older model 737NGs and 20 new 737 MAXs most likely to have the parts in question. Boeing has yet to submit a software upgrade to the FAA as it works to get approval to end the grounding of the 737 MAX.

The planes were grounded after a combined 346 people died in two deadly crashes, the first in Indonesia in October followed by one in Ethiopia in March.

"You're going to have a bit of a delay in terms of regulators, Canada, Europe, China", Clark told reporters at the IATA annual meeting in Seoul. "If it is in the air by Christmas (Dec. 25) I'll be surprised - my own view", he said.

The company said it is "now staging replacement parts at customer bases to help minimize aircraft downtime while the work is completed".

Boeing said one batch of slat tracks with specific lot numbers produced by a supplier was found to have a "potential nonconformance" and said airlines "are to replace them with new ones before returning the airplane to service". But the FAA advised airlines to check an additional 179 Max planes and 133 NGs to determine if there parts are also faulty.

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