Boeing 737 Max 8 Faces New Problem: The Scary Dutch Roll

World32 Views

Boeing is having more trouble with its 737 Max 8 planes. This time, the problem is something called ‘Dutch roll,’ which makes the plane rock from side to side while flying – and it’s pretty dangerous.

On Monday (June 17, 2024), the BBC reported that US aviation regulators are looking into a Boeing 737 Max 8 flown by Southwest Airlines. The plane experienced this scary wobble mid-flight, prompting an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

But that’s not the only issue Boeing is dealing with. The FAA is also investigating possible fake documents related to the use of titanium in Boeing planes. These problems come at a time when Boeing’s safety record is under a lot of scrutiny.

Boeing is passing questions about the Southwest flight to the airline itself, which is cooperating with the investigation. As for the titanium issue, Boeing says it’s an industry-wide problem affecting several suppliers. Despite the dodgy documents, tests show that the right titanium mix was used.

Boeing assured that any affected parts are being removed before planes are delivered and that the current fleet is still safe to fly. Spirit AeroSystems, a Boeing supplier, found corrosion-related holes in parts and has been running over 1,000 tests, pulling the bad parts from production.

The fake documents, not the titanium, are the main issue here. Tracking down the affected parts is proving to be a challenge.

The FAA has confirmed that Boeing has warned its suppliers about the fake documents and is looking into how widespread the problem is.

So, What is Dutch Roll?

Dutch roll is a motion similar to ice skating moves from the Netherlands. It happened on a flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to Oakland, California, on May 25. Thankfully, the FAA said the plane was brought under control, and no one got hurt, but the plane did suffer some serious damage.

After the flight, they found significant damage to a unit that provides backup power for the rudder. This incident has safety advocates worried about the quality of Boeing’s newer planes.

Earlier this year, a panel came off a plane mid-flight, causing more concern and leading to lawsuits and tighter scrutiny of Boeing. In response, Boeing has slowed production and presented a plan to the FAA last month to fix these issues.

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