Potentially fatal problems were found in the fuel tanks of dozens of recently produced Boeing 737 MAX airliners, a model which remains grounded worldwide following two deadly crashes.
Foreign object debris (FOD) was discovered inside the fuel tanks of around 35 new but undelivered jets belonging to the beleaguered 737 MAX series, the company’s spokesperson confirmed to media. Meanwhile, a source told Reuters that problems were found in more than half of the planes inspected so far, while Wall Street Journal (WSJ) sources said the inspectors discovered debris in around two thirds of the aircraft checked.
Debris inside the plane can potentially lead to serious issues during flight. Boeing said that the presence of FOD is “unacceptable and won’t be tolerated” on any of the company’s aircraft set to be delivered to customers.
The fleets of 737 MAX jets were grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes, in Indonesia in October 2018 and in Ethiopia in March 2019. In both cases the aircraft nose-dived, killing everyone on board.
Boeing halted production of the 737 MAX last month, leaving it with some 400 undelivered planes. Reports from earlier this week said the company began finding debris in “several” of these new jets. Sources told CNBC that Boeing will now expand their inspections after more FOD were discovered.