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16/10/2008 – NTSB Finds Missing Parts In Multiple 757 Engines
Today the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is recommending that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration begin detailed inspections of certain Boeing 757-200 (752) engines. This urgent recommendation comes after an NTSB inspection of a Pratt & Whitney PW2037 revealed multiple missing lugs and cracks in the turbine hub of a Delta 752 engine. An Unrelated inspection of an American Airlines' 752 with the PW2037 engine also revealed the engine had been flying with cracks in its turbine hub.
These inspections were initially prompted when Delta Flight 624 was forced to abort its take off from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, when the 757-232, powered by the PW2037, experienced power problems and was unable to lift off, on the 6th of August.
With additional similar problems found in the PW2037 engines that are operated and maintained by unrelated airlines, the NTSB ha suggested these engines be removed from service until further inspections and maintenance can be performed on each engine.
Currently there are 725 PW2037 engines in service for use with Boeing 757-200/757-300 aircraft around the globe.
With the FAA's recent record of aircraft inspection errors, could these problems have been found with closer inspection?
Recently both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have been forced to ground aircraft due to FAA errors in aircraft inspections. In March of this year American Airlines was forced to temporarily ground its fleet of 133 MD-80 and MD-90 aircraft when the FAA inspections failed to uncover problems with the aircraft's wiring bundles.
Hopefully the PW2037 engine issues are minor manufacturing problems that are quickly located, repaired and dealt with, rather than an on going issue that should have been found during FAA inspections of the aircraft.