Safety officials at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require that airline manufacturer Boeing conduct inspections of engine coverings of its 737 MAX aircraft due to their potential vulnerability to electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
According to a report posted on the Brinkwire website in early July, inspections of the engine coverings, also known as nacelles, will be required prior to the FAA providing Boeing with clearance to fly the 737 MAX aircraft. While the company successfully argued that the coverings provided a sufficient defense against lighting strikes, the FAA believes that “strong electromagnetic fields could cause a loss of power or faulty readings in the cockpit because of inadequate shielding around wiring.”
Reportedly, routine polishing of the engine covering panels results in the loss of some layers of metal foil needed to properly shield internal wiring. Should the inspections find engine covering panels that have been “excessively reworked,” the company will need to replace them prior to clearance.
Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft have been grounded since March 2019 following two separate crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed more 346 lives.