South Korea grounded 13 Boeing 737NGs after structural cracks found on “Pickle Fork”, the structure that connects fuselage with the wings.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of South Korea inspected 100 737NGs and found cracks on 10 NGs that are clocked more than 30,000 flight cycles, and 3 NGs that clocked between 20,000 to 30,000 flight cycles.
Boeing team was sent to South Korea commence repair work, and expected to be repaired by January 2020, as each aircraft takes about two weeks.
South Korean carriers operate 153 737NGs, the bulk of them 737-800s.
Two weeks ago, Australian Carrier Qantas grounded three 737-800s found to have cracks, following that several airlines including Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Indonesia, Ryanair, Southwest, and Lion air grounded some of their 737NG due to Pickle Fork cracks.
Lion Air found structural cracks on two newer 737NGs that are clocked with less than 22,000 flight cycles.
More than 7000 Boeing 737NGs are flying around the world, which includes the 737-600, -700, -800, and -900 variants
In a statement, Boeing said it “regrets the impact this issue is having on our 737 NG customers worldwide,” and affirmed that it is working to support affected customers.