FAA orders inspections of Boeing 737s

Story highlights

  • FAA says a problem with attach pins could cause pilots to lose control of aircraft
  • The pins attach the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage
  • FAA received reports that a protective coating on the pins was applied incorrectly
  • The inspections are not expected to affect airline schedules

The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering that more than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets be inspected for a problem which could cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft.

According to the FAA, the inspections will focus on pins which attach the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage. They were prompted by reports that a coating used to protect the pins from wear and corrosion was applied incorrectly.

The FAA says premature failure of the pins could cause reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer to fuselage attachment, resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

The part number of each pin must be checked and pins with certain part numbers must be replaced with new, improved attach pins.

The order, called an Airworthiness Directive, is effective May 20 and applies to Boeing 737 series 600, 700, 700-C, 800, 900 and 900-ER aircraft.

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The inspections are not expected to affect airline schedules.

The aircraft included in the directive are relatively new, entering service in 1998 or later.