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Boeing reported to Federal Aviation Administration officials that it had discovered evidence of cracks on 737 NG planes, resulting in a call for airlines to inspect the aircraft for the potential damage.

According to, the FAA mandate for inspections of the Boeing 737 NG fleet came after the aircraft manufacturer found a cracking issue in a fuselage part “on a small number of airplanes undergoing modifications.”

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The cracks were discovered in a part called a pickle fork, which is used to attach the fuselage to its wing structure. A retired Boeing engineer told KOMO that finding a crack in the pickle fork was “unusual” and the part is “not designed to crack that way at all.”

As a result, the FAA issued a statement saying it has instructed airlines operating with 737 NG planes “to conduct specific inspections, make any necessary repairs and to report their findings to the agency immediately.”

Boeing said the cracking issue had not been discovered on its fleet of P-8 Poseidon or 737 MAX planes. The entire MAX fleet is currently grounded after two crashes left 346 people dead.