Oct 4 General Electric Co on Thursday
issued its second directive this week for an inspection of its
new GEnx engine on Boeing Co jets, this time telling
airlines to check the installation of a turbine part, after an
engine failed on a Boeing 747-8 freighter last month in
GE told GEnx operators to make sure the part, a low-pressure
turbine stage-one nozzle, is installed correctly at the rear of
the engine. The nozzle directs air into the rotating
low-pressure turbine blades.
On Tuesday, GE had called for inspections of the
low-pressure turbine itself.
On Sept. 11, a GEnx engine in a 747-8 operated by Air Bridge
Cargo in Shanghai lost thrust during take-off. The aircraft
returned to the ramp and the engine was later replaced.
GE, the world's biggest maker of jet engines, said some
operators have already begun the hour-long inspection and have
not discovered new issues. GE said in a statement it is not
calling for repeated inspections.
Kelly Nantel, public affairs director for the National
Transportation Safety Board, said damage in the affected 747-8
engine was mainly limited to the low-pressure turbine hardware,
located at the back of the engine.
"Aside from some minor collateral damage, the engine
hardware forward of that point doesn't exhibit any damage," she
said in an interview. "Our initial findings indicate that the
low-pressure turbine stage-one nozzle may have been improperly
GE said 120 GEnx engines powering Boeing 787 and 747-8
aircraft are flying daily. It said Boeing continues to deliver
aircraft powered by these engines.
"GE continually monitors and analyzes the performance of the
GEnx fleet in service, and we are not aware of operational
issues that would affect the continued safe flight of aircraft
powered by these engines," GE said.
The engine failure in September differs from a prior
incident also involving the GEnx in July.
In that instance, a cracked fan shaft was found to have
caused a GEnx engine failure in a 787 Dreamliner in Charleston,
Neither engine failure has resulted in injuries. However,
the chief executive of Qatar Airways Tuesday said the airline
would not accept delivery of 60 ordered Boeing 787 Dreamliners
until the engines are modified.
GE on Thursday said it has finished ultrasonic inspections
of the fan shaft in all of the GEnx engines now in use in 787
and 747-8 aircraft, without finding more problems.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration calls for these
inspections every 90 days.