NEW DELHI: Four engines of Jet Airways’ Boeing 737s — three on aircraft and one in shop floor for maintenance — will be checked, following the US and European aviation regulators’ emergency directive to conduct tests on some engines in the wake of the Southwest accident.
“Three engines on Jet Airways planes and one in their shop floor will be tested. While the checks have to be done in 20 days, Jet has told us the same will be done much earlier. This is as per the preliminary examination and a meeting has been called early next week to see if more needs to be done in India,” DGCA chief B S Bhullar told TOI.
A Jet Airways spokesman said the airline has “received the latest Emergency Airworthiness Directives from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) which mandate an inspection of all fan blades of any engine that has accumulated 30,000 flight cycles or greater. Jet Airways has commenced the required comprehensive checks to ensure full compliance of the directives within the stipulated period of 20 days. The airline has four engines that are impacted by the Directive with one already in scheduled maintenance. As the impact to Jet Airways is low, the inspections are not expected to cause any disruption to the airline’s published schedule and will be conducted well in advance of the stipulated timeline.”
“Jet Airways is in close contact with both the aircraft and engine manufacturer as well as the Airworthiness authorities in both the US and India to ensure it is kept apprised of any further developments or initiatives that may be required or recommended. The airline is committed to implement any maintenance inspections or other directives that may be published by either the FAA, EASA or the DGCA as a result of the investigation of the recent event. Should further actions be deemed necessary, the airline will undertake them immediately as the safety of guests and crew is of paramount importance at Jet Airways,” the airline added.
Earlier this week, one CFM56-7B engine of a Southwest Boeing 737 on a New York-Dallas flight had blown out mid-air and its fan blade then shattered a window, leading to a passenger’s death. The flight then made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Following this, FAA and EASA on Friday ordered emergency inspections within 20 days of nearly 700 aircraft engines similar to the one involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines engine blowout. Under this, fan blades of engines used in over 30,000 cycles or in service for 20 years need to undergo ultrasonic inspections within 20 days. A cycle means one take-off and landing.
That order will affect about 680 engines globally, with a preliminary study showing only four engines of Jet Airways needing the test in India. The Southwest engine that blew out had done almost 40,000 cycles.
“Boeing 737s form the backbone of Jet Airways’ fleet and the airline today operates 83 such aircraft with CFM56-7B engines. The airline has been operating B737 aircraft for almost 25 years and as the most successful commercial jet of all time, the B737 is also one of the most widely flown aircraft in the world today. As India’s premier airline connecting guests across domestic as well as international destinations, Jet Airways runs a comprehensive, periodic and DGCA-approved safety and fleet maintenance programme that fully complies with all domestic as well as global regulatory requirements. These standards require Jet Airways to ensure all applicable Airworthiness Directives (AD) issued by regulatory authorities as well as Service Bulletins issued by CFM International, the engine manufacturer, are fully complied with,” Jet spokesman added.