BOSTON, Sept 14 The Federal Aviation
Administration should require inspections of a new model of
General Electric Co jet engine involved in two failures
since July, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said
The NTSB concluded that fan shafts on the GEnx aircraft
engine are vulnerable to cracking. A crack in that shaft caused
the failure of an engine of a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner
jet being tested before delivery in Charleston, South Carolina
in July. A similar model of engine failed on a 747-7 freighter
attempting take-off in Shanghai on Tuesday, though the cause of
that failure has not yet been determined.
"Because of the short time to failure and the fact that all
of the engines on any single airplane, whether the 787 or the
747-8, have all operated for the same period of time, the NTSB
is not only concerned about the potential for further fractures
occurring, but also the possibility that multiple engines on the
same airplane could experience an FMS failure," the agency said
on Friday, using an acronym to refer to the fan mid-shaft
component of the engine that it is concerned about.
The NTSB also said it would urge the FAA to require regular
inspections of the shafts in question.
GE, the world's largest maker of jet engines, said it has
completed inspections of all but nine aircraft using the
affected GEnx engines and had begun using a coating on the shaft
similar to what it uses on other models of engine to prevent
"As a result of findings to date, GE has introduced changes
in the production process ... including changes to the dry-film
coating applied to the mid-shaft," said GE spokesman Rick
Kennedy. He added that the largest U.S. conglomerate expects to
complete inspections of the remaining affected aircraft by
The GEnx engine that failed in July caused a fire on grass
near a runway during preflight testing. This week's failure, on
a freighter aircraft already in service, caused the pilots to
No one was injured in either incident.
GE's rivals in jet engines include United Technologies Corp
and Rolls-Royce Holding PLC.