More trouble for beleaguered Boeing 737 MAX as FAA finds defective part

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With the Boeing 737 MAX program already in trouble after two fatal crashes and a number of airlines already canceling orders, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it has identified a faulty part in a number of the jets, as well as the 1997 third-generation 737 variant, the 737 NG. According to the FAA the affected parts “may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacture process.”

Slats are moveable panels that extend along the wing’s front during take-off and landing to provide additional lift. The tracks guide the slats and are built into the wing.

The FAA confirmed on Sunday that the 737 may contain one of the improperly manufactured parts, namely leading-edge slat tracks, identifying over 300 of the 737 MAX (179) and NG (133) variants that will require these parts to be inspected and faulty ones replaced. However, the FAA also confirmed that the NGs would not be grounded in the interim until repairs have been carried out as it did not consider the failure of the part likely to lead to the loss of the aircraft, but that a failed part could cause aircraft damage when in flight.

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