The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Tuesday (9 January) the identification of a missing washer in the Aft Rudder Quadrant of one Indian Boeing 737MAX aircraft during fleet inspections, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Currently, the rectification process is in progress, following Boeing's recommendation for a one-time inspection of the entire 40-aircraft fleet, comprising Akasa Air (22), SpiceJet (9), and Air India Express (9). Of the 39 aircraft inspected, only one showed the missing washer issue, which is being addressed before releasing it for service.
Boeing's advisory for the fleet-wide inspection came after an international operator discovered a bolt with a missing nut during routine maintenance last month.
The DGCA, as a precautionary measure, had ordered inspections of operational Boeing 737-8 Max planes.
Air India Express (4), SpiceJet (8), and Akasa (20) have satisfactorily completed these checks on their operational fleets, including proper inspections of mid-cabin doors and wing emergency exits.
Akasa Air, following guidelines from the aviation regulator, confirmed a thorough inspection of its Boeing 737 Max fleet, reporting no adverse findings and uninterrupted operations.
Similarly, SpiceJet conducted a comprehensive inspection with no adverse findings, ensuring normal flight operations. Air India Express affirmed the timely completion of inspections within the specified time frame.
This fleet-wide scrutiny was initiated on 6 January, prompted by an incident involving Alaska Airlines' Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft, leading to the in-flight departure of a mid-cabin door plug and rapid decompression.
The ongoing inspections aim to ensure the safety and airworthiness of the Indian Boeing 737MAX fleet, prioritising passenger safety and regulatory compliance.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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