Southwest and Gol ground 737 NG aircraft due to structural cracks

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood October 10, 2019 10:26

Southwest and Gol ground 737 NG aircraft due to structural cracks

Southwest Airlines and Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas have grounded a total of 13 Boeing Co 737 NG airplanes.

The grounding comes after US regulators FAA ordered urgent inspections last week after the company notified the agency of structural cracks.

The cracking was found in the plane’s pickle forks, which attach the plane’s body to its wing structure.

It’s believed that Southwest has grounded two planes, while Gol said it had grounded 11. In a statement, Gol said it found “evidence of the need to replace a specific component, whose characteristics were not compliant with the standards set by the maker.”

The Brazilian airline said the fleet change would affect 3% of its passengers until 15 Dec. Gol has a fleet of 115 Boeing 737 planes, setting aside its grounded MAX planes, according to its website.

The FAA told CNN in a statement: “Boeing notified the agency of the matter after it discovered the cracks while conducting modifications on a heavily used aircraft.

“Subsequent inspections uncovered similar cracks in a small number of additional planes. The FAA will instruct operators to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately.”

In a response to this Boeing stated to CNN that “no in-service issues have been reported.

Southwest, United Airlines and American Airlines Inc are among carriers that fly the 737 NG. The NG includes the 737-600, -700,-700C,-800, -900, and -900ER.

The 737 NG is the third-generation 737 and the version before the now-grounded 737 MAX, which is not affected by the issue.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood October 10, 2019 10:26