Already beset by serious problems, the Boeing company is facing yet another scandal.
Its problem plagued Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded for over a year due to software concerns, its 787 Dreamliner has a horizontal stabilizer flaw, and now …
The US Army has stopped accepting Apache helicopters after it was found that an employee kept “improper” records concerning parts installed on the aircraft, Defense One reported.
The employee has since been sacked, Boeing said.
It’s the latest quality-control issue to bedevil America’s premier planemaker, which is trying to shift its company’s culture and repair its public image after two deadly airliner crashes and a production line that left tools and trash inside new tanker aircraft, Defense One reported.
“At this time the Army is still conducting a comprehensive review of a number of Boeing processes, production, and manufacturing plans for critical safety items applicable to all AH-64E aircraft production,” Lt.-Col. Brandon Kelley, an Army spokesman, told Defense One.
When it learned of “improper record keeping” at its AH-64 Apache factor in Mesa, Arizona, Boeing “immediately notified the Army,” Steve Parker, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift, said in a statement.
“Boeing and the government are jointly reviewing our Mesa quality management processes and procedures,” Parker told Defense One.
“Flight operations and deliveries will resume when Boeing and the Army are satisfied this issue has been resolved and appropriate corrective action plans have been implemented.”
Boeing’s Mesa operation builds new Apaches and overhauls old ones with more modern equipment — a process known as remanufacturing, Defense One reported.
The company continues to build aircraft amid the delivery stoppage, an industry source said.
“The Army will begin acceptance of aircraft once conditions have been satisfied to ensure production processes meet standards for safety and quality and the potential for future quality escapes has been fully mitigated,” Kelley said.
Kelley said that soldiers’ lives were not put at risk by the issues, Defense One reported.
It’s not the first time the Army has suspended Apache deliveries. From March to August 2018, the service halted acceptances after finding a flaw in a part that holds the helicopter’s rotors to the aircraft.
Boeing quality-control practices have been called into question by both the commercial industry and the military, Defense One reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating potential manufacturing issues on 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The US Air Force also had to halt deliveries of KC-46 tankers on numerous occasions after military inspectors found trash, parts and tools left inside the aircraft.
According to CNN, American Airlines is planning to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service for passenger flights by the end of the year.
The return-to-service dates are “highly dependent” on recertification from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airline said.
The MAX has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 following two crashes that killed 364 people.