United Continental Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines and other U.S. carriers may need to inspect their Boeing Co. 767s twice as often after one operator found “significant crack sizes” sooner than expected.
Airlines should inspect 417 of the 767 jets after 2,000 flight cycles or 6,000 flight hours, or double the current requirement, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a proposal to be published in the Federal Register next week.
The FAA is proposing more-frequent checks of the wing skin on the twin-engine jets after an unnamed operator discovered cracks as large as a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) on either side of a fastener hole on a plane that had 18,900 flight cycles and 89,500 total flight hour.
Delta is one of the biggest operators of 767s, with 92 of the jets, some of which are an average of 19.7 years old, according to the Atlanta-based carrier’s most recent annual report. Fort Worth, Texas-based American has 73 of the planes, some of them 24 years old; Chicago-based United has 61 of the planes, some 18.3 years old.
Spokesmen for the carriers didn’t immediately comment on the proposed regulation.
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