New, Potentially “Catastrophic” Wiring Issues Found In Boeing 737 Max

As if Boeing needed any more bad news.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted an internal audit in December of the Boeing 737 Max and found wiring issues could potentially cause a “catastrophic” short circuit at the rear of the plane and lead to a crash, a senior engineer at Boeing and three people familiar with the matter told The New York Times.

Boeing is examining if two wiring harnesses at the rear of the plane are too close together that would result in an electric short that would cause the plane’s tail to malfunction in flight, said one of the sources.

 If Boeing decides to fix the wiring problem, it would mean that more than 800 Max jets would have to see wiring reconfiguration.

Of course, Boeing told The Times that the fix is relatively simple. Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Sunday the “identified issue is part of a rigorous process, and we are working with the FAA to perform the appropriate analysis. It would be premature to speculate as to whether this analysis will lead to any design changes.”

It was unclear, however, if simple also means cheap, and some have speculated that a full-blown recall could cost tens ofd billions.

An FAA statement Sunday said investigators are “re-analyzing certain findings from a recent review of the proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX.” The agency will “ensure that all safety-related issues identified during this process are addressed.”

The FAA said the wiring harnesses are too close together, located at the rear of the plane, would cause the motors that control the stabilizer, a horizontal fin on a plane’s tail, to malfunction (short circuit) and could lead to a potentially “catastrophic” crash.

Max engines have also become another focus for FAA investigators.

All of these issues, of course, are separate from the MCAS software that was likely the cause of two separate Max crashes, killing 346 people.  New Max issues could delay the ungrounding even further. There is no clear timeline of when the planes will return to the air.

Meanwhile, confirming that things are going from bad to worse, the WSJ reported that Boeing is mulling raising more debt to “improve finances”, read fund buybacks, as costs related to the grounding of its 737 MAX are raising. The paper reports that Boeing is also considering cutting CAPEX, freezing acquisitions and cutting on R&D to save cash. In total, analysts expect Boeing to raise as much as $5BN in additional debt to help cover expenditures that could rise to $15BN in 1H 2020. It was not clear if all of this new money, or just most of it, would to repurchasing BA shares.

Articles by: Zero Hedge

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]