- An older model of Boeing’s 737 aircraft has been found to have a faulty joint between the wing and fuselage.
- The new development adds fuel to accusations that Boeing’s company culture has pushed employees to put safety below profits.
- While the 737 MAX issues are unrelated, it adds to a growing list of complaints about the quality of Boeing aircraft
This week brought on more bad news for Boeing (NYSE:BA) as the aircraft maker was back in the spotlight again for safety issues among its 737 planes. Boeing warned of potential cracks in the “pickle forks” of its 737 NG aircraft in September, resulting in industry-wide inspections on the planes. So far, less than 5% of the planes in question have been grounded due to faults, but the issue raises more questions about whether the company culture at BA puts profits ahead of safety.
Plane Inspections Show Faults
According to Boeing, more than 1,000 aircraft had the potential to be affected by the fault, but that less than 5% have needed repairs. So far, the pickle-fork cracks appear to have only impacted planes that have had heavy usage. Planes with more than 30,000 flight cycles and those between 26,000 and 29,999 flight cycles within 1,000 flights were ordered to be inspected by the FAA, but some airlines like Qantas decided to check younger planes as a precaution.
So far, Brazilian carrier Gol has felt the largest impact of the faulty pickle forks, with 11 of its planes grounded for repairs. Southwest Airlines and Qantas have each had to ground three of their planes due to cracks.
Although Qantas only grounded three of their planes, that’s nearly 10% of the total number of aircraft inspected.