Boeing is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and has contacted 737 operators advising them to inspect the slat track assemblies on certain airplanes. One batch of slat tracks with specific lot numbers produced by a supplier was found to have a potential nonconformance. If operators find the parts in question, they are to replace them with new ones before returning the airplane to service.
Slat tracks are used to guide the slats located on the leading edge of an airplane’s wings. Boeing has not been informed of any in-service issues related to this batch of slat tracks.
Boeing is now staging replacement parts at customer bases to help minimize aircraft downtime while the work is completed. Once the new parts are in hand, the replacement work should take one to two days. Boeing will also issue a safety service bulletin outlining the steps to take during the inspections.
Boeing has identified 21 737NGs most likely to have the parts in question. To ensure a thorough assessment, airlines are advised to check an additional 112 NGs.
A separate service bulletin will go to 737 MAX operators to do inspections before the MAX fleet returns to service. Boeing identified 20 737 MAX airplanes that are most likely to have the parts in question. Operators will be asked to check an additional 159 MAXs to ensure a thorough assessment.
“We are committed to supporting our customers in every way possible as they identify and replace these potentially non-conforming tracks,” said Kevin McAllister, President & CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The FAA will issue an Airworthiness Directive making Boeing’s recommendations mandatory.