Over 400 Boeing 737 planes flying in China may have hidden hazards due to faulty control parts of the wing elevator.
On March 15, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) ordered domestic airlines to check the control structure of planes' elevator trim plate and replace the faulty parts.
The order issued by the CAAC pointed out that the check is to avoid a loose bearing in the controlling structure may lead to an unexpected vibration of the elevator and its trim plate, which could cause the pilot to lose control of the plane.
A CAAC official with the Aircraft Airworthiness Certification Office in North China revealed that six Boeing 737 jet models, namely the -600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER need to be checked for serious potential dangers.
After making their inspections, domestic airlines should give feedback to Boeing and report the results to the CAAC. If the airlines fail to check their planes according to the order, all the aircraft involved will be grounded.
Of the 603 Boeing 737 planes in China, more than 400 could potentially have hidden problems. There are 134 of the -700 models, 318 of the -800 and five of the -900, confirmed Wang Yukui, head of the communications department of Boeing China Investment Co.,Ltd.
Wang added that Boeing had already issued an urgent warning to Chinese airlines on March 12. The company will offer technology support while Chinese airlines conduct relevant overhauls, following suggestions from the Federal Aviation Administration in the US.
Statistics show that Boeing 737s are the major jet models used by Chinese airlines. By February 2010, the number in the Chinese mainland was over 603.