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Boeing alerts FAA to potential faulty parts in 737 Max 8 jets

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, lands at LaGuardia Airport on Monday morning, March 11, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City.
A Boeing 737 Max 8. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Boeing has told the Federal Aviation Administration that more than 300 of its 737 jets — including the grounded 737 Max aircraft — may contain faulty parts on the wing, the FAA announced in a statement Sunday.

[W]e have determined that up to 148 parts manufactured by a Boeing sub-tier supplier are affected. ... The affected parts may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process. "
— FAA statement

Details: Boeing identified issues with slat tracks, which are located at the front of a plane's wing. They play a vital role during take-off and landing. In the U.S., suspect parts were found in 33 of Boeing's 737 Max jets and 32 of its 737NG aircraft. "Affected worldwide fleet are 133 NG and 179 MAX aircraft," the FAA said.

"Although a complete failure of a leading edge slat track would not result in the loss of the aircraft, a risk remains that a failed part could lead to aircraft damage in fight."

What they're saying: Boeing said in a statement it had identified 21 of its 737NGs to most likely feature the faulty parts. "Boeing identified 20 737 MAX airplanes that are most likely to have the parts in question," it said.

Why it matters: This is the latest issue to hit the world’s largest aerospace company since its 737 Max series was grounded after the Ethiopian Airlines crash outside Addis Ababa in March, which killed 346 people, following a deadly October crash near Jakarta, involving a 737 Max operated by Lion Air.

  • In March, Boeing found flaws in its flight simulators that were used to train pilots.

Go deeper: What we've learned from the Boeing 737 MAX crashes