Boeing asks operators to inspect 737 MAX jets for loose rudder bolts

A Boeing 737 MAX in flight.
Photo Credit: Boeing

Aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing has issued a crucial call to all airlines operating the 737 Max model to conduct inspections of their aircraft’s rudder systems.

This advisory stems from a concerning incident where an undisclosed international operator uncovered a missing nut in the rudder control linkage system during routine maintenance activities.

FAA Statement and Boeing Actions

In a statement released today, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  said that it is closely monitoring targeted inspections on Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, specifically focusing on identifying potential loose bolts in the rudder control system.

Boeing has subsequently issued a Multi-Operator Message (MOM) to all operators of newer single-aisle airplanes.

This message urges operators to inspect specific tie rods responsible for controlling rudder movement, with a specific emphasis on identifying any loose hardware.

Etihad affiliate link banner

Boeing is working in close consultation with the FAA throughout the inspection process. The FAA stated that it will remain in contact with Boeing and the airlines while the inspections are underway.

The collaboration extends to the airlines, with the FAA urging them to leverage their approved Safety Management Systems to determine if any instances of loose hardware have been previously detected.

Furthermore, the airlines are requested to provide the FAA with comprehensive details regarding the speed at which these critical two-hour inspections can be carried out.

This collaborative effort ensures a swift response to potential safety concerns.

Boeing’s Recommendations

Boeing’s decision to recommend these inspections follows the initial discovery made by an international operator during routine maintenance.

A bolt with a missing nut was identified in the rudder-control linkage system, prompting immediate action.

Upon further investigation, Boeing also found an undelivered aircraft with a nut that had not been properly tightened.

The US manufacturer said the repair involves removing an access panel and visually confirming the nuts and bolts. Boeing will also perform this inspection on all new aircraft going forward.

FAA’s Ongoing Input

The FAA, committed to ensuring air travel safety, has made it clear that it will take additional actions based on any further discoveries related to loose or missing hardware.

This commitment underlines the agency’s dedication to pre-emptive measures and continuous monitoring to guarantee the highest safety standards for air travelers.

Did you know AviationSource has two newsletters? One covers the general news and analysis of the industry as a whole, and the other to do with emergencies that take place throughout the year! To subscribe to our General News Newsletter, CLICK HERE!
To subscribe to our Emergencies, Accidents & Incidents Newsletter, CLICK HERE!

Click the photo to join our WhatsApp channel so then you can stay up to date with everything going on in the aviation industry!


King Abdulaziz International Airport receives first flight from Turkmenistan

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz Airport has seen the first commercial flight arrive from Turkmenistan, opening avenues of economic and cultural

Len Varley By Len Varley

London Gatwick: New Chinese Services

London Gatwick (LGW) has announced that this coming summer season, the airport will have new Chinese services. This article will

Jamie Clarke By Jamie Clarke

Ryanair moves aircraft and staff in response to Dublin Airport traffic cap

Ryanair will redirect three aircraft, 16 routes, and relocate over 200 jobs to Southern Italy due to the restrictions imposed

Len Varley By Len Varley

Biden administration releases nearly $1B in grants for US airport improvements

An investment of $970 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda will be allocated to US airport upgrades

Len Varley By Len Varley
Boeing has called on all operators to inspect 737 MAX aircraft rudder systems after an operator reported a missing nut during maintenance.
You Might Also Enjoy