Wing structure cracking issue cited on some Boeing 737 NG planes

Wing structure cracking issue cited on some Boeing 737 NG planes
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Boeing has notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of structural cracking in certain 737 Next Generation planes, prompting the FAA to order inspections of the planes, according to CNN.

The cracks were reportedly discovered in the pickle forks, which connect the plane’s bodies and wing structure, according to CNN affiliate KOMO. They are intended to sustain a plane for more than 90,000 landings and takeoffs.

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"Boeing notified the agency of the matter after it discovered the cracks while conducting modifications on a heavily used aircraft. Subsequent inspections uncovered similar cracks in a small number of additional planes,” the FAA said in a statement.

“The FAA will instruct operators to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately," the statement continued.

Boeing, meanwhile, said the issues had only been found in few planes and that there had been no indications of them causing flight issues.

"No in-service issues have been reported," Boeing said in a statement, according to CNN. "Over the coming days, we will work closely with our customers to implement a recommended inspection plan for certain airplanes in the fleet. This issue does not affect any 737 MAX airplanes or the P-8 Poseidon."

The reported issues come just months after the aviation industry was rocked by the FAA and ordered to ground all Boeing 737 Max 7 and 8 planes after two crashes that killed over 300 people in all.

The NG planes were manufactured a generation earlier than the Max planes that were grounded.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board issued new recommendations relating to the Max model, including the evaluation process for its maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, which is suspected as a factor in both crashes.