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Cracking Up: Boeing Has a Major Pickle Fork Problem

In September, Boeing announced that cracked pickle forks had been detected on some of its 737 Next Generation craft. It has now been reported that as many as 50 aircraft across a number of global airlines have been impacted by the flaw. Qantas and Korean Air Lines have grounded 737 NGs in the wake of this issue.

In late September, FlyerTalk reported that aircraft manufacturer Boeing had detected cracked pickle forks on some of its 737 Next Generation or 737 NG craft. According to Reuters, this flaw–which has been found in the part of the plane which secures the wing to the fuselage–has now been reported in as many as 50 737 NGs operated by a number of global airlines.

Southwest Airlines and Australian flag carrier Qantas are now exercising increased vigilance and actively conducting checks for any flaws to this component. On Thursday, the latter airline grounded one of its 737 NG craft after cracking was uncovered, reports the BBC.

Speaking of its choice to ground the craft, Qantas was quoted by the outlet as stating, “Even when a crack is present, it does not immediately compromise the safety of the aircraft. We would never operate an aircraft unless it was completely safe to do so.”

Last month, KOMO News reported that these pickle forks are intended to withstand over 90,000 flight cycles; however, as the BBC reports, the plane grounded by Qantas had completed under 27,000 cycles.

Finally, Reuters has reported that South Korea has also opted to ground nine 737 NGs, five of which are operated by Korean Air Lines.

Boeing has not yet publicly offered a comment on the groundings by these carriers.

[Featured Image: Wikimedia]

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