FAA Orders Inspections on Boeing 737s for Faulty Part that Causes Plane to Lose Control

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An inspection has been ordered on more than 1,000 Boeing 737s after it was determined that there is a potentially faulty part on the tails of the plane that could cause pilots to lose control.

The Federal Aviation Administration has asked operators to replace the tail plane fixing pins with improved pins as concerns over their protective surface coating was revealed. 

A few days ago, a Boeing 737 crashed off the coast of Bali when the pilot of the Lion Air flight lost control of the jet just as it was approaching the runway for landing.

It is not clear whether the tail plane pins had anything to do with the crash. All 108 people survived.

The FAA said Monday in a directive, "We are issuing this AD to prevent premature failure of the attached pins, which could cause reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer to fuselage attachment, resulting in loss of control of the airplane."

They said they were prompted to issue the inspections after "reports of an incorrect procedure used to apply the wear and corrosion protective surface coating to attach pins of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar."

The order is said to affect 1,050 planes flown by U.S. carriers. It could cost up to $10.1 million total, or $9,627 per plane.

Models include the 737-600, 737-700, 737-700C, 737-800, 737-900, and 737-900ER.

Inspections will start taking place in May but they are not predicted to interfere with flight schedules.

A week ago, Boeing finished testing a fix for a battery problem on the 787 Dreamliner which caused the battery to smolder.

It is not known what caused the battery problem, but the company has come up with a solution which includes more heat insulation and a vent that sends hot gases outside.

Sources: Daily Mail, Guardian