Boeing must inspect older 737 jets after crash: FAA
Published: May 16, 2021 06:58 PM
The US aviation regulator is ordering Boeing to inspect older generation 737 jets, after the January crash of an aircraft off Indonesia that killed 62 people.

All Boeing 737-300, -400 and -500 planes will need to be examined, a total of 143 aircraft, according to a document from the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday.

A failure of the "flap synchro wire" missed by the autothrottle computer - which manages the plane's thrust - "could result in loss of control of the airplane," the document said.

An interim report from Indonesian investigators in February said the doomed jet's throttles showed an "anomaly," though it said the cause of the crash was unclear.

"The preliminary data of the ongoing accident investigation shows that it is highly unlikely that the accident resulted from the latent failure of the flap synchro wire," the FAA said.

But it said the inspection is "necessary to address the identified unsafe condition" that could be found in the planes, which were built in the 1980s and 1990s. Modern iterations of the Boeing 737 - including the 737 MAX that was grounded for 20 months after two deadly crashes - were not impacted by the inspection order.

"We are in communication with our customers and the FAA, and engaged in ongoing efforts to introduce safety and performance improvements across the fleet," it said.

A Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plunged about 3,000 meters in less than a minute before slamming into the Java Sea on January 9, minutes after taking off from Jakarta. All 62 people aboard were killed.