Boeing’s next-generation narrowbody aircraft is facing a new issue on select aircraft. Earlier this month, Boeing recommended that 16 customers temporarily park some MAX aircraft pending inspections and rectifications involving a component of the electrical power system. While it was sudden, not a large number of MAX jets were impacted by the issue. However, some industry sources are now reporting that it could impact more jets than initially expected and extend into other areas of the aircraft.
More Boeing 737 MAX jets to face scrutiny
Industry sources have told Aviation Week that more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft than initially anticipated will need to undergo inspections to search for any deficient items that need to be corrected. The latest update indicates that other parts of the 737 MAX aircraft face grounding issues with the electrical system.
The source told Aviation Week that the issue, though not complex and certainly not to the same level that led to the long grounding of the jet, would require aircraft to spend some time on the ground. The main issue at hand is ensuring that there are ground paths for parts of the electrical power system.
The electrical grounding issue
Last week, Boeing recommended to 16 customers that they pull out select Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from service. The reason was for customers to inspect and make any necessary corrections to ensure a sufficient ground path for a component of the electrical power system.
After this announcement from Boeing, several airlines pulled MAX aircraft from their fleet and awaited further direction on the matter. Boeing is working with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to rectify the matter, which Boeing stated was a production issue.
Boeing’s phrasing indicated that it is not a certainty that the aircraft the manufacturer highlighted are not sufficiently grounded where they need to be. As a result, some aircraft will only need to spend time on the ground undergoing an inspection and then returning the aircraft to service.
The potential for an electrical failure is not a small matter. This is why Boeing has alerted its MAX customers whose aircraft may be affected. As Boeing and the FAA evaluate the situation, more clarity on the situation will come out. The final number of aircraft affected by the issues is unknown at this point.
What does this mean for the Boeing 737 MAX?
It is not rare for aircraft to need inspections for certain components. Production issues and changes do occur, which can cause issues later on that need to be rectified. This is not a full grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX jets.
Hopefully, this is an issue that Boeing and the FAA can provide guidance on soon enough to keep this grounding as short as possible. It has only been a few months since the FAA recertified the MAX for commercial operations. The MAX is flying in several countries, including the US, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Turkey.
What do you think about the latest Boeing 737 MAX issue? Let us know in the comments!