Boeing is facing yet another challenge with the fuselages on its 737 jets which may cause delays in the delivery of approximately 50 aircraft, inducing further concern about the company’s regard for quality. A worker at Boeing’s supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, discovered misdrilled holes in the fuselages, leading to the need for rework on the undelivered planes. Although the potential condition does not present an immediate safety issue and all 737s can continue to operate safely, the company is facing intense scrutiny over the quality of their work.
The problem was identified by an employee of the fuselage supplier who alerted management about two holes that may not have been drilled according to specifications. The company’s CEO, Stan Deal, confirmed that rework will be required on approximately 50 undelivered planes as a result. Furthermore, the FAA is investigating whether Boeing and its suppliers followed quality-control procedures, adding to the ongoing barrage of issues that Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems are grappling with. This latest incident follows an emergency landing for an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 on Jan. 5, creating more concern about the aircraft’s safety.
The flawed fuselages add to the company’s recent mishaps, with Alaska Airlines and United Airlines reporting loose hardware in door plugs of other planes they inspected post-accident. The FAA had grounded all Max 9s in the U.S. the day following the blowout, and Boeing has faced additional challenges, such as withdrawing a request for a safety exemption needed to certify a new model of the 737 Max airliner. These issues pose serious questions about Boeing’s commitment to safety and quality assurance that the company must address.