Southwest Airlines grounded two Boeing 737NG aircraft after found cracks on critical structure.
Last week, the FAA issued an “airworthiness directive,(AD), ordering mandatory inspection to carried out on all 737 models (not MAX) for cracks on structural component known as “Pickle Fork”, which connects wings to fuselage.
Overall, around 500 of the planes from airlines around the world have been inspected for the issue., and cracks found in more than 5% of the older 737 jets, forcing them to be grounded.
A ‘pickle fork’ is the part that connects the fuselage with wings to manage stress and torque loading on the structure.
According to Boeing engineers, the ‘pickle forks’ are designed to last the lifetime of the plane with at least 90,000 flight cycles of landings and takeoffs.