Boeing has grounded up to 50 737NG planes that were detected to be having cracks, the plane manufacturer has announced.
According to reports by AFP, Australian national carrier Qantas was the hardest hit by the purge, with other 32 planes belonging to the airliner awaiting inspection and possible grounding.
“We would never operate an aircraft unless it was completely safe to do so,” Qantas head of engineering Chris Snook said.
The cracks were detected at the pickle fork, a part that attaches the plane’s fuselage, or body, to the wing structure.
A Boeing spokesperson on Thursday told AFP in Sydney that less than five percent of 1,000 inspected planes (50) had cracks detected and were grounded for repair.
This comes as another scare for the manufacturer, after two crashes that led to grounding of all newer 737 MAX models globally.
The manufacturer said additional assessments were underway to determine the cause and potential implications for planes with fewer than 22,600 cycles.
“Depending on the results of these assessments, additional inspections or repairs may be required. Boeing is actively working with customers that have airplanes in their fleets with inspection findings to develop a repair plan, and to provide parts and technical support as necessary,” Boeing said.
Boeing is still trying to restore its safety reputation after two 737 MAX crashes last year that killed 346 people and highlighted problems with the planes’ flight handling software.