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PW Set To Tell Airlines To Repair Old PW4000s

Tue Jul 17, 2001 12:55 pm

Here is the article from the Singapore Business Times;

US set to tell airlines to repair some older engines

FAA airworthiness directives expected this week on PW4000 series

(WASHINGTON) Federal regulators are expected to tell airlines to remove and overhaul some older engines made by United Technologies Corp unit Pratt & Whitney, industry and government officials said.

Concerned by an incident in which an Airbus jet nearly crashed on takeoff in Saudi Arabia in March when both its engines lost power, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to issue instructions to US carriers this week.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency's action may take the form of an immediate airworthiness directive but declined to discuss details that were still being finalised.

Pratt & Whitney said the FAA directive would also ask airlines to ensure that no more than one high-time engine is on a plane to try to eliminate any chance of repeating the dual failure experienced by the Air Sudan plane leaving Jedda.

Company research has shown that some older PW4000 series engines could lose power as critical spacings between engine parts drift from their original specifications, said Pratt & Whitney spokesman Mark Sullivan.

Redesigned parts should be ready early in 2003.

'This airworthiness directive is aimed at minimising the exposure by mandating refurbishment and making sure that no one airplane has two high-time engines on it,' Mr Sullivan said.

'The FAA feels, and we fully support it, that (these steps) be mandated,' he said.

The PW4000 engines can be found on Boeing Co 747, 767 and MD-11 aircraft, and 300 and 310 series planes made by Airbus Industries, a partnership of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co and British defence contractor BAE Systems plc.

FAA airworthiness directives apply only to US carriers but are usually adopted by aviation authorities in other countries.

Pratt & Whitney said it had 60 customers worldwide operating 633 aircraft with PW4000s. About 80 engines had been identified for special attention in the coming months.

'Our customers have been aware of it and we've been working with them to make sure they have enough parts and their service is not disrupted,' said Mr Sullivan. - Reuters

This hopefully should explain all those engine failures SIA and other PW operators have been having. (The United 767 losing power after takeoff from Hawaii)

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