Now Reading
FAA Says it’s “Encouraged” By Boeing’s Inspection Instructions For 737 MAX 9 Exit Plugs But Jets Will Remain Grounded For Now

FAA Says it’s “Encouraged” By Boeing’s Inspection Instructions For 737 MAX 9 Exit Plugs But Jets Will Remain Grounded For Now

a plane flying over a mountain

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Friday that it is “encouraged” by the “exhaustive nature of Boeing’s instructions for inspections and maintenance” of the grounded 737 MAX 9 variant with an aft cabin exit plug.

However, to ensure the instructions are up to scratch, the FAA says it has mandated that the inspection process initially be carried out on just 40 grounded jets so that the agency can review data from these inspections before approving the instructions for wider use.

“Upon a full review of the data the FAA will make a determination whether the instructions satisfy compliance with the highest standard of safety,” the FAA said in a statement, explaining what has led to a delay in returning the MAX 9 to service.

“If the FAA approves Boeing’s inspection and maintenance instructions, operators will be required to perform that regimen on every aircraft before it is returned to service,” the statement continued.

Up to 171 airplanes are grounded worldwide as a result of the FAA’s investigation with Alaska Airlines and United Airlines worst affected.

Alaska Airlines has extended MAX 9 cancellations through January 16 at the earliest, but the embattled carrier says it might start flying empty 737-9s in the coming days to get them to primary maintenance bases where the inspection process can take place – a process known as ‘positioning’.

A spokesperson noted that it had received special permission from the FAA to operate these special flights and that no passengers or flight attendants would be onboard.

Earlier on Friday, the FAA promised greater oversight of Boeing, which will include an audit of the 737-9 production line, as well as key third-party suppliers like Spirit AeroSystems, which makes the fuselage for the MAX 9.

“We are working to make sure nothing like this happens again,” commented FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker. “Our only concern is the safety of American travelers and the Boeing 737-9 MAX will not return to the skies until we are entirely satisfied it is safe.”

There is currently no timeline for when the MAX 9 variant with aft cabin exit plugs will be allowed to fly again.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.