According to an exclusive report from Seattle-based news station KOMO News, the company is under pressure to figure out how many of its 737NG jets have a cracked part known as a “pickle fork.” The pickle fork essentially connects the plane’s wing structure to its body (fuselage).
The outlet reported that if the pickle fork system – which is designed to last the lifetime of the jet – fails in flight, the results could be disastrous. The cracked parts were said to be found by workers during a recent inspection.
A retired Boeing engineer anonymously told the outlet that it is “unusual” for the part to crack. A Boeing 737 has four pickle forks.
Boeing did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
It appears unclear how many aircraft were found to have the cracked part.
Meanwhile, Boeing is still reeling from two fatal accidents involving its planes that have brought it under federal scrutiny.
CEO Dennis Muilenburg is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill at the end of next month, which would be his first appearance since the two fatal 737 Max aircraft crashes.
The 737 Max jet was grounded in March. An Ethiopion Airlines flight crashed earlier that same month, killing 157 people. Last October, a Lion Air crash resulted in 189 deaths.
This week the National Transportation Safety Board said Boeing should consider reassessing the risk posed by key systems on the Max jets, finding the company may have underestimated the time it takes for pilots to react to certain warnings.
There are ongoing investigations into how the Max jets were built and certified.