A new safety flaw has been discovered on the Boeing 737 Max jet, which could further delay its return to service.
Engineers carrying out a rigorous inspection of the aircraft’s structure have found that two bundles of wiring that control the tail are installed too close together.
As a result, they could cause a short circuit, potentially sending the aircraft out of control.
The 737 Max jet has been grounded since early last year following two fatal crashes. The wiring was not a factor in the two crashes, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew.
Boeing said it is working with the US air safety regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, to peform the appropriate analysis of the latest safety flaw and decide whether any change is needed to the aircraft design.
The wiring issue might also affect the Boeing 737 NG, of which 6,800 are in service, officials told The New York Times.
Boeing is aiming to win new flight certification within the next few weeks for the Max, its best-selling aircraft to date. It already has 400 in storage, waiting to be delivered to airlines around the world, but it has recently suspended production until the FAA approves its recent software repair.
American Airlines, the second largest operator of the 737 Max, has just agreed a compensation deal with Boeing for damages caused by the aircraft’s grounding. American did not disclose the size of the deal but said last October that it expected a $540 million hit to its annual profit.
The airline said that it is continuing to negotiation with Boeing for compensation for Max damages beyond 2019.