The Master Executive Council (MEC) has received inquiries from our members asking if we have additional information regarding the alert message that is posted on the Inflight web page,
which references a potential issue with a part on the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) fleet.
Last night (Friday), the MEC became aware of a KOMO news article, “Unexpected cracking found on critical Boeing 737 Next Generation part.” The name of the part in question is a “pickle fork.” We brought the article to the attention of Alaska Airlines Inflight management with a request to research the validity of the article’s contents and to communicate something to the flight attendants if appropriate. The alert notice was posted on the Inflight web page shortly thereafter.
Boeing’s statement to KOMO
KOMO quotes a Boeing spokesperson: “Safety and quality are our top priorities. Boeing has notified the FAA and been in contact with 737NG operators about a cracking issue discovered on a small number of airplanes undergoing modifications. No in-service issues have been reported. Over the coming days, we will work closely with our customers to implement a recommended inspection plan for certain airplanes in the fleet. This issue does not affect any 737 MAX airplanes or the P-8 Poseidon.”
The FAA confirmed required upcoming inspections
The FAA also confirmed the inspections to KOMO: “The FAA will require operators of certain Boeing 737NG jetliners to conduct inspections for structural cracks. Boeing notified the agency of the matter after it discovered the cracks while conducting modifications on a heavily used aircraft. Subsequent inspections uncovered similar cracks in a small number of additional planes. The FAA will instruct operators to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately.”
AFA Alaska leadership is following developments with extreme interest
It is unclear at this time if the Alaska Airlines NG fleet will in any way be affected by the required inspections. From what we have been able to gather so far, the various news outlets reporting on the issue are crediting KOMO as the original source, and there has been no new information published since yesterday. Be assured AFA Alaska leadership is in communication with management about the issue and is following developments with extreme interest. The MEC anticipates there will be more information in the coming days. Stay tuned for further updates!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee; and MEC Air Safety, Health and Security Committee (ASHSC) Chairperson Seth Heiple