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FAA Finds Dozens Of Issues In Boeing 737 Max Production

A Boeing 737 MAX sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently conducted a six-week audit of Boeing 737 Max production, uncovering numerous issues following a door panel blowout incident during a flight. One concerning discovery was federal investigators observing mechanics from a supplier using dish soap as a lubricant during door seal testing, highlighting potential safety oversights.

During the audit, both Boeing and its supplier, Spirit Aerosystems, were scrutinized. The audit was prompted by a midair door plug detachment incident in January. Boeing reportedly failed 33 out of 89 product audits, while Spirit Aerosystems failed 7 out of 13 audits, indicating systemic concerns in the production process.

These findings come amidst a series of troubling incidents involving Boeing aircraft. For instance, a Boeing 737 flight from Houston to Florida had to return due to an engine fire, and a Boeing plane departing from San Francisco lost a tire mid-flight, causing it to land in Los Angeles. The falling tire even damaged a car in the airport employee parking lot, underscoring the potential risks associated with these issues.

Specifically, federal investigators noted instances where mechanics at Spirit Aerosystems used unconventional methods, such as dish soap as a lubricant and a hotel key card for door seal checks. A spokesperson for Spirit Aerosystems mentioned that the company is evaluating all identified non-conformities to implement corrective measures.

Boeing has been given a 90-day deadline to devise an action plan addressing the 33 identified issues from the audit. The focus now shifts to how Boeing will rectify these deficiencies to ensure the safety and reliability of its aircraft moving forward.

Amidst these developments, passengers and industry stakeholders are understandably concerned about the implications of these production lapses on aircraft safety. The aviation community will be closely monitoring Boeing's response and the steps taken to enhance quality control and compliance within its manufacturing processes.

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