China's Civil Aviation Administration has issued an "Emergency Airworthiness Directive" to impose compulsory safety checks on a total of 160 Boeing 737 planes, PressTV reported
The emergency directive, demanding airlines check the flaps on the horizontal tails of the planes, was issued following recommendations from Boeing after a Ryanair 737-800 traveling from the Netherlands to Spain experienced "severe vibration" on a March 2 flight.
The plane managed to land safely. An inspection afterwards found "extensive damage" to the left elevator, which is a movable flap on the tail that controls the vertical pitch of the airplane.
"Severe vibration in this attach point is suspected of allowing rapid wear of the joint and resulted in failure of the attach lugs," states the United States Federal Aviation Administration's preliminary incident report. "This condition, if not corrected, could result in a loss of aircraft control and structural integrity."
The problem with the mechanism of the flap on the horizontal tail of Boeing 737 planes involves the 600, 700, 800 and 900 series.
"Some 160 jets are troubled. We will pay great attention to them and strengthen supervision, in a bid to ensure the flight safety of these jets," a spokesman from Civil Aviation Administration of China was quoted as saying by China Daily.
China's civil aviation authority said it has issued more than 6,500 airworthiness directives from 1986 to 2009, a measure designed to ensure flight safety.