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Boeing finds cracks in older 737 Next-Generation jets

The company said it has not had any impact on airplanes in service, but some may need to be modified.

SEATTLE — Boeing says it’s found cracking issues in a small number of older 737 Next Generation jets involving the wings. 

The company said it has not had any impact on airplanes in service, but some may need to be modified. 

The company notified the Federal Aviation Administration and airlines who fly the jet. Boeing is expected to issue what’s called a "service bulletin."

This issue does not involve Boeing's 737 MAX, which is a new plane that’s now been grounded following two crashes for reasons unrelated to what’s affecting the older jets.

Boeing released the following statement on Friday evening: 

Safety and quality are our top priorities. Boeing has notified the FAA and been in contact with 737NG operators about a cracking issue discovered on a small number of airplanes undergoing modifications. No in-service issues have been reported.

Over the coming days, we will work closely with our customers to implement a recommended inspection plan for certain airplanes in the fleet.

This issue does not affect any 737 MAX airplanes or the P-8 Poseidon.

KING 5's aviation specialist, Glenn Farley, said it's not unusual to find problems in jets such as cracking, which often require FAA Airworthiness Directives to make sure any required inspections or repairs are made. 

Despite problems with the 737 MAX model, the 737NG, standing for Next Generation, is statistically one of the safest jets in the world. 

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