IAI Flags Problem With Boeing 737

(Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has advised customers not to fly some Boeing 737 (BA.N) freighters converted by IAI to passenger jets, pending a review by Israel’s aviation authority, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The advisory was prompted by the discovery of an “apparent irregularity” in the production process of a rigid barrier installed in some of the conversions to provide added support under emergency conditions, IAI said.

“IAI’s tests indicate that the rigid barrier may not provide the support it was designed to provide in such extraordinary conditions,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

“The issue does not affect aircraft flight but may limit the way the aircraft can be safely loaded for flight.”

IAI said it has developed an interim solution which will be presented later on Wednesday to the CAAI, which it hopes will pass inspection.

IAI said that it has not received any reports of a safety incident in connection with the rigid barrier.

Earlier on Wednesday, Australian carrier Qantas Airways announced the suspension from service of four 737 freighters pending further word from IAI. The company converted four Boeing 737-300 planes for Qantas in 2006, which the airline flies on domestic cargo routes, according to Globes.

Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) said it had taken four 737 freighters out of service pending further guidance from IAI.

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