By Puza Sarker Snigdha
Three Boeing 737s planes have been pulled from service by Qantas after finding a structural crack “pickle fork” in a third aircraft during an inspection on Friday.
Among the three planes, one found just under 27000 and the other two identified during an audit of 33 of its 75-strong Boeing 737 fleet.
“These aircraft have been removed from service for repair,” said Qantas in a statement on Friday.
The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered inspections for all airlines around the world to immediately check aircraft with more than 30,000 cycles after several planes were found to have the same issue at the beginning of October.
After the inspection, the company told the agency that structural cracks had been found on heavily used planes.
The cracks in all three aircraft are “touching the same spot, adjacent to the same bolt”, said Chris Snook, Qantas head of engineering.
The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association again required the quick establishing of every one of the 75 Boeing 737s until assessments of the whole armada were attempted.
“We say these things for the safety of the people who fly on these aircraft,” said ALAEA federal secretary Steve Purvinas.
“Qantas will never fly a plane if we do not believe it is safe to do so,” said Domestic chief executive Andrew David and added, “Our entire reputation – our brand – is built on our safety record.”
Qantas with Boeing and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to resolve the issue. Boeing said it hoped to have the affected planes back in the air soon.
> Puza Sarker Snigdha
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