GE calls for jet engine checks after China incident

General Electric has recommended new inspections of its GEnx engines, used on Boeing 747 and 787 aircraft, following the failure of an engine in China in September.

"GE has issued service bulletins to GEnx operators calling for a simple one-time inspection of all 120 GEnx engines in service powering 787 and 747 aircraft," the company said in a statement Thursday.

The inspection, which takes about an hour, is aimed to ensure that a specific component -- the low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage-one nozzle -- is properly installed.

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The company said some operators had already begun inspecting the engines without finding any problems.

On September 11 a GEnx engine in a 747 operated by Air Bridge Cargo in Shanghai lost thrust during takeoff. The aircraft was not damaged and the engine was replaced, GE said.

Last week the US National Transportation Safety Board said the September 11 incident appeared unrelated to a previous incident in the US state of South Carolina on July 28.

That incident, caused by a fractured fan midshaft inside the engine, forced an inspection of all similar engines that turned up a second GEnx engine with the same problem.

The NTSB said that was not the problem with the engine in the Shanghai incident, adding that China's aviation regulator, the CAAC, was still investigating the event.

by Aminu Abubakar © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Oct 5, 2012