Qantas Urged to Ground Boeing 737 Fleet After Reports of Second Plane With Cracks

By AAP

Qantas’ engineers’ union has said claimed that a second structural crack has been reported for a Boeing 737 aircraft owned by the airline, after Qantas said Oct. 30 it was quickly checking more than 30 of its Boeing 737 aircraft because one plane was found cracked during a maintenance check.

The first crack was found on one of the structures that attaches the wings of the plane to the body, reported Sydney Morning Herald. The second crack was said by the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association to be affecting the primary wing structure of the plane.

The association called for Qantas to ground all of its 75 Boeing 737 planes after the second crack was reported, although the airline is yet to confirm the reports. Qantas has said it is working with safety regulators to complete all the required checks.

The Qantas plane involved had completed fewer than 30,000 cycles.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered airlines to check any 737s that had completed more than 30,000 take-offs and landings, known as cycles, for cracks.

A company spokesman said none of its Boeing 737 fleet had yet reached 30,000 cycles, but 33 aircraft with more than 22,600 cycles would be inspected by the end of the week.

“Qantas would never operate an aircraft unless it was completely safe to do so,” a Qantas spokesman said in a statement.

“Detailed analysis by Boeing shows that even where this crack is present, it does not immediately compromise the safety of the aircraft—as indicated by the timeframe given by regulators to perform the checks.”

With additional reporting by NTD staff.

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