INTERNATIONAL – More than 5% of older Boeing Co. 737 jets that underwent urgent inspections worldwide in the past week have cracks in a structure connecting the wings to the fuselage and will have to be temporarily grounded.
So far, 36 of the workhorse Next Generation models have evidence of cracking out of 686 that have been inspected, Boeing said in an email late Wednesday providing updated numbers. Earlier in the day, the company told airlines that 25 planes had been found with cracks, also at a rate of about 5%, said a person briefed on the discussions.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, acting after an alert from Boeing, issued an urgent directive last week requiring the checks on planes with more than 30,000 total flights by Oct. 10. There are an estimated 165 aircraft that fit that description in the U.S., including 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, and 737-900 models, the FAA said in a statement.