The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that a 737 Max plane operator found loose bolts in the plane’s rudder control system.
The FAA got a report about a missing nut, washer, and bolt that had moved from their place in the system from an operator in December of the previous year.
Boeing then checked all 737 Max 8, 737 Max 8-200, and 737 Max 9 planes being made and found another nut that wasn’t tightened enough at the same spot.
The FAA’s statement is part of an upcoming directive from the agency that will need a one-time check of the system where the loose bolts were found for certain Max planes. The directive is set to be published on Monday.
This directive from the agency comes after an incident last month where a sudden release of pressure happened on an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 flight from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California. A panel that was covering an unused emergency exit door flew off during the flight.
A lawyer for over 20 passengers on the Alaska Airlines flight that had the panel fly off said the plane was basically a ticking time bomb after a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found missing bolts from the plane.
“A plane was given by Boeing to Alaska Airlines without four important bolts, which means the plane was basically a ticking time bomb. This door plug could have flown off at any moment,” lawyer Mark Lindquist told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
The NTSB’s report on Tuesday found that four bolts that were supposed to help hold a door plug on the Max 9 plane were missing before it had the panel fly off. Investigators said the bolts were supposed to stop the door plug from moving upward.
“In general, the seen damage patterns and lack of contact damage or bending around holes linked with the bolts that stop vertical movement and upper guide track bolts in the upper guide fittings, hinge fittings, and the found aft lower hinge guide fitting show that the four bolts that stop upward movement of the MED [mid exit door] plug were missing before the MED plug moved upward off the stop pads,” the report says.
A large Boeing 737 MAX 9 model sits outside its production plant in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson/File)