TOKYO — A week of inspections ordered after the Aug. 12 crash of a Japan Air Lines jumbo jet uncovered "abnormalities" in the tail sections of 23 Boeing 747s but none serious enough to pose a direct safety hazard, the Transport Ministry said Saturday.
The full cause of the accident has not been determined, but the tail section of the plane disintegrated less than 15 minutes after it left Tokyo's Haneda airport. The crash killed 520 people, the worst single-plane accident in aviation history. Four people survived. Three days after the crash, the government ordered the inspections.
Toshihiro Kouda, an official of the Transport Ministry's airworthiness division, said inspection of 41 of the 69 Boeing 747s in use in Japan disclosed 35 faults in 23 of the aircraft, including broken bolts, rust, and in one case, a crack in a rudder fitting. All of the problems have been corrected, he said.
Ten of the planes were found to have broken or cut bolts in the connection between the vertical stabilizer and the fuselage, or between the fuselage and the rear pressure bulkhead, he said.
Susumu Kato, chief of the airworthiness division, said that none of the defects found in the survey were serious enough to pose a direct hazard.