New Delhi: Indian aviation regulatory body, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has ordered checks of the joining areas of wings and body of all Boeing 737 Next-Generation (NG) aircraft in India for those which have completed over 26,000 flight cycles (FC).
Recently, cracks were found in three Boeing 737 NG planes having more than 36000 flight cycle at the wing to body frame fitting during a check. Boeing has been apprised about the cracks.
Nineteen passenger aircraft above 26,000 flight cycles and four freighters having above 36,000 cycles of SpiceJet will be affected by the order.
Vistara and Air India Express are currently flying nine and 25 aircraft of Boeing 737s but they will not be affected as their aircraft have yet to touch 17,000 flying cycles. A flight cycle is one complete flight from take-off to landing.
A senior DGCA official said the checks will start this week. “An airworthiness directive is expected on Wednesday that will be effective from Thursday (for the checks). The inspection will last an hour and will be done with the help of Boro equipment,” he said.
Boeing 737-NG is Boeing’s second aircraft model in which extremely severe errors have been found. Earlier, the Boeing 737 Max was completely banned in India since Lion Air crash of Indonesia last year which claimed the lives of 180 passengers.