Cracks near wings leads to Qantas to ground its three Boeing 737s
AUSTRALIA's Qantas Airways has grounded three Boeing 737 aircraft after finding hairline cracks on a structure known as the pickle fork, which connects the wings to the fuselage
AUSTRALIA's Qantas Airways has grounded three Boeing 737 aircraft after finding hairline cracks on a structure known as the pickle fork, which connects the wings to the fuselage. The carrier said that the planes will be returned to service by year-end.
The cracks near the wings were discovered after the US Federal Aviation Administration last month ordered urgent industry-wide inspections on next-generation B737s that have carried out more than 30,000 flights, while aircraft with more than 22,600 flights needed less-immediate inspections.
With a fleet of 300 planes, Qantas had to inspect 33 of its 75 next-generation B737 aircraft, reported Bloomberg.
Worldwide, five per cent of aircraft that required urgent checks had cracks, Boeing said last month. The US manufacturer has already been under heavy scrutiny after two B737 Max planes crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing a total of 346 people and leading to a worldwide grounding of those jets.
The cracks are around the same place on each of the Qantas jets, close to one of eight bolts on the pickle fork, the airline's head of engineering Chris Snook said at a press conference. The structure's load-bearing ability hasn't been compromised, he said.
There are 6,800 next-generation B737 aircraft in service globally, including lower-mileage aircraft that don't fall under the F's directive.