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jimsmitty01
18th Mar 2010, 10:10
Does anyone know a little more about the issues with the B737 Balance tab..A FR a/c had to divert recently because of this issue. I am surprised it hasn't been mentioned much ( I know it hasn't in my company) ! Or maybe am not looking hard enough?

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued a directive to Chinese airlines to carry out safety checks on their Boeing 737 aircraft, following a similar order from the US FAA.
On 10 March, Boeing issued a message to aircraft operators to inspect the elevator tab control mechanism on 737s, after a Ryanair aircraft was diverted from its destination due to severe elevator vibration and extensive damage to its tab control system.
Boeing's bulletin was followed by a directive from the FAA to airlines to carry out the checks.
The CAAC has ordered checks on 737s of the -600 variant and upwards, say local media reports. This is similar to the FAA's directive.
A Boeing China spokesman says Chinese airlines are conducting checks of their aircraft. "If they need support, we will help them," he adds.
Up to 160 737s might potentially have safety issues, says the spokesman.

CAAC orders checks on 737s in China (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/03/18/339612/caac-orders-checks-on-737s-in-china.html)

Checkboard
18th Mar 2010, 11:32
You're right - you haven't been looking hard enough. :p

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/408895-faa-requires-inspection-600-boeing-737-a.html

A37575
18th Mar 2010, 14:22
I think the now defunct Australian charter operator OzJet (B737-200) also had similar severe vibration problems last year after departing Port Moresby PNG.

Black Maria
20th Mar 2010, 02:36
The Ozjet 737-200 lost a section of the right elevator balance tab on take-off out of Port Moresby. A vibration had been noted and checked by maintenance the day before.

The ATSB at the below link details the investigation.

AO-2008-001 (http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2008/aair/ao-2008-001.aspx)

jimsmitty01
22nd Mar 2010, 00:28
Interesting reports guys thanks for the info. I remember seeing those Oz Jet aircraft a fair bit when they were based in Bournemouth.

I find it strange how this problem has just come to light in recent years when clearly the airframe design is not exactly new!!?