US airlines have been ordered to inspect more than 1,000 Boeing 737s for potentially faulty parts that could result in pilots losing control of the aircraft.
The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive that requires airlines to carry out inspections of certain components on 737 tail planes.
The regulator acted because of concerns that pins used to attach the aircraft’s horizontal stabiliser – also known as the tail plane – could break because these components did not have an adequate anti-corrosive coating.
The horizontal stabiliser provides aircraft with directional stability and pitch.
The FAA order affects several versions of the 737, including the more recent 737-800 and 737-900 models. The regulator estimated that the cost of inspecting the aircraft and replacing defective pins could be $10 million.
Regulators in other parts of the world are likely to replicate the FAA’s order, according to the Financial Times.
The FAA said: “We are issuing this [airworthiness directive] to prevent premature failure of the attach pins, which could cause reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabiliser to fuselage attachment, resulting in loss of control of the airplane.”
It added airlines did not need to take immediate action to address the issue because the directive required inspections of 737s after 56,000 flights.
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