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100k wings

100k wings

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Cracks found in dozens of Boeing jets

Inspections of some older Boeing jets have turned up structural cracks in more than three dozen aircraft, raising a new safety issue for the company already dealing with two deadly crashes involving a newer version of the same plane.

Boeing said on Thursday that airlines worldwide have inspected 810 planes following an order from US safety regulators, and of those, 38 - or five per cent - had "findings" requiring repairs.

Airlines are under orders to inspect certain Boeing 737 NG planes for cracking in a part that helps keep wings attached to the fuselage.

Boeing declined to identify which airlines found problems, but Brazilian carrier Gol said it has grounded 11 planes so far, and US-based Southwest Airlines grounded two.

The NG is a version of the popular 737 that has been produced since the 1990s.

Boeing is replacing it with the 737 Max, but those planes have been grounded worldwide since March after two crashes killed 346 people.

The cracks in the NG planes occurred in a part called a pickle fork because of its shape.

Cracking in that component was found recently in some 737s being converted from passenger use to cargo jets.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave airlines seven days, ending Thursday, to inspect 737 NGs that had made at least 30,000 flights.

A much larger group of planes with slightly fewer flights must be inspected over the coming months.

An FAA spokesman said "a small number" of US-based planes have been removed from service while Boeing works on instructions for repairing or replacing the parts.

Boeing is analysing airline inspection results, and its technical experts are deciding the best repair plan, a company spokesman said.

The FAA says it is working with international safety regulators to understand what caused the cracks to form.

© AP 2019