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AA 767 Engine Pylon Cracks  
User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 535 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18652 times:
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that cracks have been discovered on some AA 767 engine pylons and that the FAA was considering more frequent inspections.

"Structural cracks discovered recently on at least two American Airlines Boeing 767 jetliners, including one jet that air-safety regulators believe easily could have lost an engine, are prompting concerns that some of the problems may turn out to be more widespread."

Article goes on to say that a separate investigation was underway to determine if winglets were contributing to cracks discovered in the "Structural backbone" of other 767's.

Is this more alarmist press or are the 767's just strating to wear out?



[Edited 2010-06-22 04:45:12]


Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18641 times:

Quoting macsog6 (Thread starter):
some AA 767 engine pylons and that the FAA was considering more frequent inspections.

Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural.



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User currently offlineworldtraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18082 times:

These are apparently 300ERs since there is a possible connection to winglets?

How many wingletted 767s does AA have now?


User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 535 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18075 times:
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Quoting worldtraveler (Reply 2):
These are apparently 300ERs since there is a possible connection to winglets?

The pylon cracks do not seem to be related to the winglets, but the other situation (i.e. "structural backbone" cracks) does seem to be tied to winglets.



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17985 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):

Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural.

Exactly my thought but I think they learned from that experience.

Quoting worldtraveler (Reply 2):
These are apparently 300ERs since there is a possible connection to winglets?

How many wingletted 767s does AA have now?

According to WSJ that is a seperate problem and not connected to the engine pylon cracks.


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User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2006 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17985 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural

Let's hope they are not using a forklift again in Tulsa. I wonder why other large operators such as Delta and United are not experiencing similar problems?


User currently offlineyellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6222 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17881 times:

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 3):
The pylon cracks do not seem to be related to the winglets, but the other situation (i.e. "structural backbone" cracks) does seem to be tied to winglets.

IF the winglets are the issue on the backbone....would other post manufactured winglet installed aircraft have the same issues....752s, 738s



When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17843 times:

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 7):

IF the winglets are the issue on the backbone....would other post manufactured winglet installed aircraft have the same issues....752s, 738s

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the wing design and how much load they put on the structure. The 767 winglet is massive and I believe it's the largest currently certified for installation on aircraft.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17767 times:

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 7):
Quoting macsog6 (Reply 3):
The pylon cracks do not seem to be related to the winglets, but the other situation (i.e. "structural backbone" cracks) does seem to be tied to winglets.

IF the winglets are the issue on the backbone....would other post manufactured winglet installed aircraft have the same issues....752s, 738s

Exactly which part of the aircraft are they referring to as the "structural backbone"? The keel beam? The wing box? The wing spars?



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User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 17602 times:

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 7):
IF the winglets are the issue on the backbone....would other post manufactured winglet installed aircraft have the same issues....752s, 738s

My guess would be no, since they have different wings. They do have extra structure added with the winglet installation.

Quoting Larshjort (Reply 8):
The 767 winglet is massive and I believe it's the largest currently certified for installation on aircraft.

That is correct as far as I know, but the blended winglets used for testing on a 747 were even larger. One of them is on display at the Museum of Flight.

Quoting TSS (Reply 9):
Exactly which part of the aircraft are they referring to as the "structural backbone"? The keel beam? The wing box? The wing spars?

I don't know.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinefsnuffer From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 252 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 15325 times:

Quoting Larshjort (Reply 4):
Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural.

Exactly my thought but I think they learned from that experience.

I bet most of the people involved from AA, NTSB, and the FAA that were involved with the DC-10 investigation have retired.


User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1029 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 15211 times:

Quoting worldtraveler (Reply 2):
These are apparently 300ERs since there is a possible connection to winglets?

The winglets have nothing to do with the crackes in the pylon. The aircraft that had cracks where NON-wingletted airplanes. And the 200's where also included in this inspection.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offline7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 732 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 15045 times:
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These are two separate matters. I think the article didn't give enough detail.

The pylons on the 767 are currently subject to inspection/modification as it is.
It does not say whether this was a modified one or not.
Modification of the pylon negates repeat inspections.

There is no link to the unfortunate DC10 incident nor should one be drawn.

As far as the winglets are concerned - the backbone they would be referring to is the wing spar - but again it is too early to jump to conclusions.


User currently offlineaa777lvr From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 217 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 14625 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 5):
Let's hope they are not using a forklift again in Tulsa. I wonder why other large operators such as Delta and United are not experiencing similar problems?

The primary maintenance facility (base maintenance) for the AA 767 fleet is AFW (not TUL). Just to clarify.

-AA777LVR


User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3875 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14042 times:
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Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 11):
And the 200's where also included in this inspection.

Those are now showing their age.

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 12):
the backbone they would be referring to is the wing spar

I think so too, because the spar is the main structure of the wing, it is the part that sustain all the wing load.

Quoting aa777lvr (Reply 13):
The primary maintenance facility (base maintenance) for the AA 767 fleet is AFW (not TUL).

So is JFK.



Ben Soriano
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5078 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 13417 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural.
Quoting milesrich (Reply 5):
Let's hope they are not using a forklift again in Tulsa. I wonder why other large operators such as Delta and United are not experiencing similar problems?

These were the first concerns that came to mind when the story broke. If it is indeed a maintenance practice like what is mentioned above, then some heads need to roll in Tulsa. But, I am not going to jump to conclusions until we find out what the cause of it is. Let's applaud the maintenance team for finding the cracks!



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11511 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 5):
Let's hope they are not using a forklift again in Tulsa.

That would be kind of hard since AA's 767 undergo heavy maintenance at AFW. And no they do not use a forklift.


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3102 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11261 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 15):
If it is indeed a maintenance practice like what is mentioned above, then some heads need to roll in Tulsa. But, I am not going to jump to conclusions

Try AFW before you jump to TUL

I find it interesting that the crack has shown up on more than one plane and has not been noticed beforehand.

One would assume that this issue will be addressed long before the refueling tanker for the Air Force comes around again.

Does that mean Pelosi will step up to Obama's 747 until her 67 gets inspected and repaired?

Okie


User currently onlineNYCAdvantage From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 356 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10660 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 17):
If it is indeed a maintenance practice like what is mentioned above, then some heads need to roll in Tulsa. But, I am not going to jump to conclusions

Try AFW before you jump to TUL

I guess we have to wait before we jump on anyone, We have to hear from UA, CO, DL and some other that use the 767.
if the problem is isolated to AA alone then you have an issue here, but until now it could be the whole boeing fleet of 767.
in the bright side no one got hurt and a major accident probably has been avoided thanks to the findings.


User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 967 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10218 times:

Are these the same type of pylon cracks which grounded the Ansett 200 fleet back in 2001?

User currently offlinetyler81190 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10065 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 16):
heavy maintenance at AFW
Quoting okie (Reply 17):
Try AFW before you jump to TUL

Do you mean DFW? I have never heard of AFW


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9671 times:

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 20):
I have never heard of AFW

AFW is Fort Worth Alliance Airport.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetyler81190 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9556 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
AFW is Fort Worth Alliance Airport.

Ok, i thought maybe I was missing something... haha


User currently offlinejetmech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9493 times:

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 19):
Are these the same type of pylon cracks which grounded the Ansett 200 fleet back in 2001?

My thoughts exactly. Pictures from the first reference given below.

http://aod.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/fsa/2004/apr/36-41.pdf

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/15668/ansett_australia.pdf



Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineZKNZA From New Zealand, joined Feb 2007, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8193 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
Brings back bad memories of the DC10 engine change work. Hopefully this is a one-off and nothing structural.

No relation, the 1979 AA accident was one of the few accidents to be directly related/caused by shoddy maintenance practices.

These 767 pylon cracks appear to be more an hours/cycle age related issue, possibly an unforeseen design issue as some particular 767 aircraft clock up cycles.
Nothing that cant be addressed by more stringent repeat inspection processes, probably under the guise of an AD.
I'm quite sure the applicable world 767 fleet have had all their pylons modified following the last pylon modification programme to the world 747/767 fleets.
I was looking over a high hour 767 in an 8C check last week and there were only minor defects with the pylons.

Aircraft do crack, whenever you inflate and deflate the tube and subject the structure of an aircraft to everyday flying conditions, cracking is inevitable at some stage of an aircrafts life. Good quality maintenance Is how we can detect and rectify any issue before it becomes a real problem.
It's worth noting that all commercial aircraft I know of have required some form of modification due to a design issue (often early in the airframes life) to the airframe or a component. Sometimes these modifications are necessary due to some form of fatigue issue that has been discovered on primary or secondary airframe structure.
What a lot of people don't realise is Boeing and Airbus don't actually operate aircraft, they rely on operators to feed them information so that the OEM's can make a decision on the best course of action.


25 Kappel : Not trying to, just the first thing that I thought of. Agreed Again, I did not mean to imply that I think shoddy maintenance is to blame. The result
26 boeing767mech : No these are cracks found in the pylon structure at the attach points of the pylon to the wing. If you look at the picture JetMech provided the area
27 JAAlbert : It really is rather astonishing to think that it is actually the wings that carry the force of foward propulsion on an aircraft since the engines are
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