Boeing has stopped deliveries of some 737 MAX airliners after the discovery of noncompliant parts in structures supplied by contractor Spirit Aerosystems. Reuters is reporting that the issue is with fittings that attach the tail to the fuselage being installed incorrectly. “We have notified the FAA of the issue and are working to conduct inspections and replace the non-conforming fittings where necessary,” Boeing said in a statement. The FAA has accepted Boeing’s assessment that there is no safety-of-flight issue and the in-service aircraft can continue flying.
However, the issue has derailed Boeing’s plan to ramp up production to 38 a month from 31 and to deliver up to 400 MAXes this year. “We regret the impact that this issue will have on affected customers and are in contact with them concerning their delivery schedule,” Boeing said. The FAA is getting an AD ready to address the issue. It will likely include aircraft produced as early as 2019. Boeing shares dropped 5 percent and Spirit Aerosystems lost more than 11 percent on the news.