JAS finds cracks in 17 plane engines, grounds flights on the MD80's


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JAS finds cracks in 17 plane engines, grounds flights on the MD80\'s


Japan Air System finds cracks in 17 plane engines, grounds 95 more flights

The Associated Press
1/20/04 11:36 AM

TOKYO (AP) -- For the second straight day, Japan Air System grounded many of its domestic flights, saying it had discovered cracks in the engines of more planes.

About 4,900 passengers were stranded as the airline canceled 95 of its 390 scheduled daily flights, said Tatsuo Yoshimura, a spokesman for Japan Airlines, which is merging its operations with JAS.

On Monday, the airline grounded 120 flights, affecting 7,000 people. As many as 62 flights were expected to be canceled on Wednesday, affecting an estimated 4,100 passengers, JAS said in a statement.

JAS began conducting emergency inspections of its 25 MD-81 and MD-87 aircraft following two cases of engine trouble this month. By late Tuesday, all but one of the planes had been inspected and 17 were found to have cracks in their engines, JAS said. Two of the damaged engines had been repaired, it added.

On Jan. 6, an MD-81 had to abort its takeoff at Fukuoka airport in southern Japan due to vibrations in an engine. A MD-87 returned to Kagoshima airport, also in southern Japan, the next day after developing a similar problem.

Inspections of the two planes turned up cracks in a compressor in their engines. Similar cracks were later discovered in three more aircraft, prompting the airline to check all 25 operating aircraft of the same type, officials said.

On Monday, engineers found cracks and missing blades in seven more aircraft, besides the five that had been already set aside, Yoshimura said. In some cases, blades in the compressor parts were missing, he said. Cracks or missing blades in the compressor can cause a plane's engine to vibrate, lose power, or even stop, he said.

The affected aircraft were produced by McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing Co. in 1997. JAS uses the aircraft only for domestic flights.

JAS and Japan Airlines set up a holding company, Japan Airlines System Corp., in October, 2002, and were to merge their flight operations in April this year.
Re: JAS finds cracks in 17 plane engines, grounds flights on the MD80\'s

Seems odd that so many would suddenly have cracks