US aviation regulator adopts new airworthiness directive for some Boeing jets

February 12, 2024 4:59 AM EST

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to implement a new airworthiness directive (AD) targeting specific models of Boeing (NYSE: BA) aircraft, namely the Model 737–8, 737–8200, and 737–9.

According to a notice released on the Federal Register, this directive comes as a response to a concerning discovery made by an operator during routine maintenance—a missing washer and nut, leading to a bolt migration. Such findings have raised questions about the potential safety risks associated with these aircraft models.

To be more specific, the FAA's AD mandates a one-time inspection of the aft rudder quadrant for the affected Boeing models.

“The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products,” the notice states.

The AD comes days after the US safety regulator released a preliminary report, saying the recent incident where a cabin panel detached from Alaska Airlines’s Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft while in the air was due to the apparent absence of four key bolts.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicated that these missing bolts were supposed to secure the door plug. Alongside its initial findings, the NTSB shared photos as evidence of the oversight.

Comments on this AD must be submitted to the FAA by March 28, 2024.

By Vahid Karaahmetovic

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Vahid Karaahmetovic