Back to Squawk list
  • 29

FAA Warns of Possible Decompression on Boeing 737 NG and MAX

Via an Airworthiness Directive (AD) the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned all Boeing 737 NG and MAX operators of a possible rapid decompression risk. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Roger Anderson 19
Good. The FAA doing it's job before something happens, as it should be.
Jasper Buck 1
"... and is also charged with promoting air travel".

Please show me in Title 49 USC or Title 14 CFR where it says that.


Capt. J Buck
The FAA is schizophrenic. It's a regulator, and is also charged with promoting air travel. So, um, anyone see the potential for a HUGE conflict of interest? And a huge potential for the regulating FAA to be gagged by the promoting FAA?

THAT'S why you don't want government run as a business! The FAA would be promoting and the regulating division could get shouted down because regulating tends to 'hurt business'. Well, the BUSINESS of the airlines is to deliver people to their destination SAFELY, Not shower the carriers investors with more cash. A true 'deep state' government regulator would realize that. A 'business man/person' would think of investors first, people second, or even third.
Jasper Buck 5
Actually the AD (2021-01-04) applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737 series airplanes, excluding Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The AD can be found here:$FILE/2021-01-04.pdf

This AD comes on the heels of a Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-52A1180 RB, dated January 24, 2020. The service information specifies procedures for an inspection, a measurement, or a records check of the upper aft corner stop fitting assembly to determine the part number, and applicable on condition actions.

This issue is a known one and has been the subject to numerous inspections (and replaced parts) by the two principal U.S. operators, SWA and AA. Not sure about foreign operators and what they're doing.


Capt J Buck
Aviation Safety Consultant.

P.s. it would have been nice had Airways magazine identified the models affected and the AD number, and where to find it. But then it is the media after all.
Silent Bob 5
Well actually, if you exclude the 100, 200, 200C, 300, 400, and 500 series aircraft all that’s left is the NG and Max. So in effect the article did identify the models affected. They could’ve been redundant and mentioned the AD doesn’t apply to earlier model aircraft, but then that would be redundant.
Jasper Buck 1
Have to disagree. FAA Type Certificate data Sheet A16WE (Rev. 66 November 9, 2020) lists the following Boeing 737 models:


The official FAA certification documents do NOT list any model designated as a Max or Next Generation (NG.) The term MAX does appear once in the TCDS on Page 99 in the "Notes Section XI (737-8/-9): NOTE 4: The type design reliability and performance of the 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes have been evaluated in accordance with the requirements of 14 CFR § 25.3(b)(1) and 25.1535 and found suitable for up to and including 180-minute Extended Operations (ETOPS) when operated and maintained in accordance with Boeing Document No. D044A032, “737 MAX ETOPS Configuration, Maintenance, and Procedures.” This finding does not constitute approval to conduct ETOPS.

Note that it's a Boeing document that uses the term MAX, not an FAA certification document. The Term NG does not appear anywhere in the FAA Certification documents.

To that end I don't think you can necessarily consider all 8 of the aircraft models beyond the -500 to be either a Max or NG. Because they're not. At least not in the eyes of the FAA. it all depends on the mods. Engine (e.g. GE LEAP vs PW, winglets, etc.)

Kind of like the DC-9. All the DC-9s and B717 are DC-9s. All on the same TCDS, all get you the same type rating.


Capt. J Buck
Torsten Hoff 1
I don't know why anyone would downvote your post. Fixed.
Peter Fuller 1
“warned” is not the best word choice to describe what’s going on. If you click through from this AirwaysMag article to the AD, you’ll see that Boeing issued an Alert Requirements Bulletin about this issue on January 24. I think it likely that the problem has already been dealt with on most if not all affected planes. The AD itself takes effect March 29 and will then require compliance before further flight.
One of the last times I flew on an RJ was one that had a massive door seal leak. All we heard for the duration of the flight, once we hit altitude, was the whistling of the door seal. Someone asked the FA about it, and she said 'It's a bad door seal. We just can't go over a certain altitude.'. The passenger looked around rather uneasily. Yeah, sure, fly on another RJ. I'd rather not... I realize it's not an essential part, and the things flew lower anyway, but it kinda made me a little uncomfortable too.
Highflyer1950 2
Just wet paper towels and jam them in the area where the leak is. Works every time and the F/A’s get a weird look when all paper falls out on arrival when the door is opened! It’s not the first time a door seal has rolled or been deformed?
The FA said it was their last flight in that plane, and last of the day, so they apparently didn't want to go overboard to try to address it. Almost made me wonder what else they treated the same way. It was an 11pm departure that was 40 minutes late. I knew the tower closed at 11:30, and we would be getting in after that. Yippee.

They all looked tired. Not getting paid for the delay after what looked like a long day sure must suck.
Highflyer1950 2
I mean stuff the wet paper towels in the door area when airborne! Plugs the air leak like glue until you open the door.
I knew what you meant. What struck me was the FA saying that 'some planes are worse than others'. To me, flying a plane with a blown door seal is just nuts. But if they can save money fixing it, it's a win for the carrier I guess. I can't imagine it's easy to replace them. I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of planes flying with 'nonessential' items unrepaired. Some things on the list don't make much sense. *shrug* RJ's aren't for me...
Marty Nemes 0
Well said CPT Buck
Sounds like the accountants are back at the drawing board.
vector4traffic -2
Weight Reduction Gone Wild!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Jasper Buck 2
And you base that comment on what engineering and safety data exactly? Please share that with us along with your aviation credentials.

Capt J Buck

ATP DC-9 B757 B767
Flight Instructor
Ground Instructor
Aircraft Dispatcher
A&P Mechanic
Air Traffic Controller
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (Ops & Aws) ((Ret.)
FAA certified accident investigator (Ret.)
ICAO Panel Member
Aviation Safety Consultant


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.