The 737MAX debacle is far from over for Boeing, with discovery of a new potential safety risk associated with the aircraft fuel tank. As per reports, debris has been found in the fuel tanks of several new planes which were in storage, awaiting delivery to airlines. Discovery of foreign object debris, an industrial term for rags, metal shavings, and other materials left behind by workers during the production process, has been a quality control issue for various other Boeing aircraft as well, such as its KC-46 tankers.
Post the discovery, Mark Jenks, general manager of the 737 program, told employees in the memo that:
‘Such debris is absolutely unacceptable and that the company would be taking steps to address the issue in its production system’
The objects were found in fuel tanks during maintenance work on some of the 737 MAX airplanes which had been built, but not delivered. With new deterrents being discovered related to wiring complications alongside the prevailing MCAS issues, the aircraft is not likely to fly commercially until the June of 2020, according to experts.
The FAA is supposedly aware that Boeing is now conducting an inspection of undelivered 737MAX aircraft for Foreign Object Debris as part of the company’s ongoing efforts in order to ensure manufacturing quality.
However, this newly discovered issue is not likely to delay the certification of the MAX, as per Boeing. We are closely following the 737MAX development, and will update as soon as we receive any more details. What do you make of this situation? Will Boeing be able to reinstate the confidence of passengers and airlines? Let us know in the comments!