Currently Qantas and Virgin are under pressure to double-check for Boeing 737 cracks. The Australian airline grounded a handful of its Boeing 737 models over the last month after discovering cracks between the aircraft’s wing and body which is known as the pickle fork cracks.
Not just that, as it stands now, Indonesian airline Lion Air and Irish airline Ryanair, have both discovered additional cracks along the sides of their Boeing 737 jet.
Nobody saw this as something to worry about at first
According to Qantas Domestic Chief Operating Officer Andrew David who said the cracks did not pose an immediate danger and the engineering union was reckless in scaring the public.
However, it became more serious as Indonesian airline, Lion Air, also find cracks on its aircraft under the expected mileage profile, clocking in with only 22,000 flights.
These cracks were discovered on what is known as the “pickle fork” — a hidden part of the infrastructure that connects the wing to the fuselage.
The airline conducted reviews after American engineers union, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), made a global call for planes to undergo inspection a month ago
Since earlier developments, Qantas has inspected 33 aircraft, leaving a further 42 unchecked. Virgin has checked 25 of its planes. Qantas and Virgin are being urged to check their aircraft again
Image Source: The market
Other Airlines seeing the same Pickle Fork Crack
As it stands now, Irish airline Ryanair discovered pickle fork cracks earlier this week as well. So It has since then grounded three of its Boeing 737 jets.
The Irish airline is Europe’s biggest budget airline, with over 400 major Boeing jets in operation. However, the company hit back at The Guardian’s “rubbish” reporting on the cracks.
Although we are not sure if this will affect Ryanair’s operating fleet or flight as the Airline has moved its winter schedule from the end of October.
About Boeing 737 Jets
The 737 jet is the world’s most common flyer, with at least 50 planes grounded over the past year due to the recent infrastructure worries. The 737 is currently Boeing’s only narrow-body airliner, with the 737 Next Generation (-700, -800, and -900ER), and the re-engined and updated 737 MAX variants in production.
The Boeing 737 jets have been continuously manufactured since 1967; the 10,000th was rolled out on March 13, 2018, a MAX 8 destined for Southwest Airlines, and over 4,600 orders are pending. Assembly of the 737 is performed at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington.
Many 737 jets serve markets previously filled by 707, 727, 757, DC-9, and MD-80/MD-90 airliners, and the aircraft currently competes primarily with the Airbus A320 family