Qantas Cracks Crisis: A THIRD aircraft is found with damage to its wing while engineers call on the airline to ground its 737s until they are repaired
- Qantas carries out urgent checks on 33 aircraft with more than 22,000 cycles
- The cracks are during maintenance on the & # 39; pickle fork & # 39; of a Boeing 737 found
- The repair costs are set to cost the airline an estimated $ 40,000 per aircraft
Engineers continue to call on Qantas to ground its 737 fleet after a third aircraft was found with damage to its wing.
Qantas checked 33 of its Boeing 737 & rs after cracks were discovered in the wing of an aircraft on Wednesday.
The airline confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Friday that three of its planes had found a hairline crack on the pickle fork – the part that attaches the body to the wing.
These planes have been decommissioned for repair.
Qantas initiates immediate checks on 33 aircraft after cracks were found during routine maintenance (photo: Qantas stock image)
The damage is part of a global problem, with the US Federal Aviation Administration instructing airlines earlier this month to check 737 & # 39; s that had completed more than 30,000 take-offs and landings, called cycles, for cracks.
The planes had all completed approximately 27,000 cycles. Every aircraft with more than 22,600 cycles was inspected in accordance with the advice of regulators.
The airline has a total of 75 Boeing 737 aircraft.
The spokesperson said Qantas is working with Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Boeing to resolve the issue, which involves a number of complex repair work.
All three aircraft are expected to be put back into operation before the end of the year. The company will strive to minimize disruption to customers while they are out of service.
The domestic CEO of Qantas, Andrew David, said they have gone above and beyond what was needed to check their planes well ahead of schedule.
& # 39; We would never operate an aircraft that was not safe. Even when these hairline cracks are present, they do not present an immediate risk, which is clear from the fact that the checks were not necessary for at least seven months.
Qantas will continue to monitor aircraft falling under the scope of the airworthiness directive as inspections expire.
The urgent inspection came after the company found an example on Wednesday of squatting in an airplane with just under 27,000 cycles.
Qantas & chief of engineering Chris Snook said the calls to ground the fleet were irresponsible because safety regulators require checks to be carried out in the next seven months
The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said on Thursday that a second Qantas 737 was found overnight with a & # 39; cracked primary wing structure & # 39 ;, causing the entire fleet to be grounded.
& # 39; These aircraft must be kept safely on the ground until urgent inspections are completed, & # 39; said Steve Purvinas, Secretary of the Australian License for Aircraft Manufacturers, in a statement.
David said those comments were irresponsible and completely misrepresented the facts.
& # 39; Those comments were especially disappointing, given the fantastic work that our engineers have done to inspect these planes well ahead of schedule, and the priority they give to safety every day, & # 39; he said.
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