U.S. aviation regulators ordered inspections of 138 Boeing Co. 767 aircraft pylons that attach the engines to the wings to reduce the threat of cracking.
Inspections must be conducted after 8,000 flights rather than 10,000 as now required, and the examinations must be done within 400 flights, or 90 days, whichever occurs later, the Federal Aviation Administration said today in a statement.
Boeing, based in Chicago, said last month it was recommending more frequent pylon inspections after mechanics at AMR Corp.’s American Airlines discovered cracks on one jet. Pylon failure could cause an engine to fall from the wing where it is attached.
As part of its order, the FAA is requiring checks of pylon fittings after 400 flights instead of 1,500. The inspections will cost carriers about $47,000, according to the FAA.
Three decades ago, damage to an engine pylon as it was reattached to a plane at American’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, maintenance facility contributed to the crash of an American DC-10 in Chicago on May 25, 1979, the National Transportation Safety Board determined.
The crash occurred shortly after takeoff, killing all 271 onboard and two on the ground. Sections of an engine pylon came off the plane, allowing the left engine to fall off, cutting critical control lines and causing the DC-10 to roll on its back before hitting the ground.