Close sidebar

737 MAX delay fears as debris found in fuel tanks

written by Adam Thorn | February 19, 2020

Boeing moved quickly on Wednesday to reassure airlines that the discovery of potentially dangerous debris in 737 MAX fuel tanks would not delay vital maintenance work designed to return the stricken model to service.

The statement comes after an internal memo leaked to Reuters revealed how ‘foreign object debris’ – thought to include rags, tools and metal shavings – was found in “several” grounded 737 MAX aircraft in Seattle.

In the email, Boeing vice president Mark Jenks called the development “absolutely unacceptable” and added “one escape is too many”.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Australia is one of 40 countries to have banned the aircraft, alongside territories including China, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Oman, the European Union, Singapore and Canada.

 

B737 MAX aircraft at Boeing’s Seattle production facility.

Boeing is currently carrying out work and checks on hundreds of 737 MAX jetliners in Seattle that have been built but not delivered due to the worldwide ban imposed last year following two crashes that killed 346 people.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Boeing has already confirmed the message’s authenticity, but maintained the developments won’t add further delays to the jets’ return to service.

A company spokesman later told the BBC: “While conducting maintenance we discovered foreign object debris (FOD) in undelivered 737 MAX airplanes currently in storage.

“That finding led to a robust internal investigation and immediate corrective actions in our production system.”

The news also comes after Boeing said the outbreak of coronavirus could further disrupt aircraft deliveries.

Chief financial officer Greg Smith said on 14 February that the company is “spending a lot of time” with Chinese airline customers, trying to help them navigate a downturn in travel.

He added, “I can certainly see that impacting … some near-term first-quarter deliveries for a lot of us.”

Additional reporting by Airlinerwatch.

For just $59.95 a year, you can keep up to date with the very best of Australian Aviation each month, directly via our app! Our app is available on mobile, tablet and PC devices. So what are you waiting for? Go digital with Australian Aviation and read up on all missed special coverage, exclusive photos and editions. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

3 Comments

  • Mick D

    says:

    My God, can this company even justify keeping this aircraft alive? For everones sake, cancel the Max project and redesign an aircraft that is fit for purpose. Anything else is just plain negligent and foolish!

    I cant believe that Virgin are still commiting to this aircraft! Really! Just shows that CEO’s will put $$$’s before people, ethics and common sense! Shame on you Virgin.

    I will never fly or let my family fly on a Max aircraft; I cant support a company that is so ethically bankrupt!

  • Craigy

    says:

    I am not surprised by this find. Considering the FOD issues with the Pegasus tanker, Boeing should have improved their quality assurance across the whole of manufacturing. They obviously learn’t nothing from the tanker fiasco

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year