FAA Calls Checks on Older 737s: Door Plug Worries Spark Inspections


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Kathmandu: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is raising the alarm on potential safety issues with older Boeing 737 jets. Following a mid-air incident involving a different variant earlier this month, the regulator has recommended airlines inspect door plugs on the widely used Boeing 737-900ER model.

The recommendation stems from concerns surrounding the optional door plug design installed on some planes for adding an extra emergency exit. While not an immediate safety issue on the 737-900ER, the FAA wants airlines to proactively examine these plugs for potential movement restrictions.

This move further intensifies scrutiny on Boeing, already reeling from the recent grounding of its troubled 737 MAX model. It reflects a heightened focus on ensuring safety across the entire 737 family, particularly older versions like the 737-900ER.

Airlines that operate these jets with the optional door plug are now encouraged to conduct visual inspections to ensure its secure placement. Some carriers have already taken this initiative, highlighting potential concerns with bolt integrity revealed during routine maintenance.

The heightened attention on door plugs is part of a broader FAA effort to strengthen oversight of Boeing after a series of safety incidents and concerns over manufacturing quality control. The appointment of an independent advisor by Boeing further underscores the urgency to address such issues.

With over 490 active 737-900ERs in operation, this safety measure serves as a proactive step towards protecting passenger safety and regaining public trust in Boeing's fleet.


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