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Severe Engine Cracks Reportedly Found in Grounded Boeings

June 17, 1989|From Associated Press

LONDON — Investigators have found severe cracks in the engines of grounded Boeing 737-400s operated by British carriers, the Times of London reported Friday.

The Department of Civil Aviation, which ordered the aircraft grounded last week, and the Department of Transport said they could not confirm or deny the report.

The Times said the cracks were more serious than the breaking of fan blades in two engines, which occurred during two British flights last week. It said that new cracks have been found on previously untested engines.

"The damage is so fundamental that any hope of getting the aircraft flying in time for the holiday peak has been dashed," said the report by the newspaper's air correspondent, Harvey Elliott.

The newspaper said detailed reports on the cracks have been sent to the French manufacturer, SNECMA, which makes the engines in conjunction with General Electric under the joint name CFM International.

On Monday, the Department of Civil Aviation grounded the 12 British-operated Boeing 737-400 aircraft powered by CFM-56-3C engines after the two incidents on British planes last week.

In the United States, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and CFM International recommended that U.S.-operated 737-400s be grounded for engine modifications.

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