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Problem with electrical grounding is latest repair issue for 737 Max

Robert Besser
20 Apr 2021

SEATTLE, Washington: An electrical glitch that resulted in several dozen Boeing 737 MAX airplanes being pulled out of operations has escalated, following the identification of similar electrical grounding problems in other areas of the cockpit, industry observers said on April 16.

Numerous airlines grounded several dozen 737 MAX airplanes recently, following Boeing's warning of an electrical grounding issue in the cockpit's standby power control unit in several recently manufactured jets.

Grounding issues have also been identified at two other sites on the flight deck, according to sources.

The two areas of concern are the instrument panel in front of the pilot and the storage rack holding the problematic control unit.

No statement was immediately issued by Boeing regarding the new electrical problem, which Aviation Week had initially reported.

The issue -- impacting one-fifth of MAX jets -- is the most recent to plague Boeing's fastest-selling model, though it is not linked to design flaws that drove a global safety ban extending up to 20 months following two deadly air crashes.

Bulletins are likely to be released by Boeing to guide operators on addressing grounding-related issues or electrical paths created for ensuring safety during a voltage spike.

However, approval for these bulletins has to first be obtained from U.S. regulators.

Despite analyst teams claiming a comparatively uncomplicated repair, information was unavailable to begin work on some 90 aircraft impacted by the grounding.

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