(Reuters) -The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it will require some users of Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engine to conduct inspections within 30 days to prevent a part failure that could damage the airplane.
Pratt & Whitney parent RTX Corp announced in July that a “rare condition” in powdered metal meant 1,200 of more than 3,000 engines, built for the twin-engined Airbus A320neo between 2015 and 2021, have to be taken off and inspected for micro cracks.
In an airworthiness directive published on Friday, the FAA requires an ultrasonic inspection of the first- and second-stage high-pressure turbine disks within 30 days. If the disks show signs of fatigue, they must be replaced before further flight, the agency said.
The FAA said the directive, which is effective immediately, affects 20 engines on U.S.-registered aircraft and 202 engines worldwide.
After a December 2022 incident where a failure of the GTF’s high-pressure compressor resulted in an aborted takeoff, RTX conducted analysis that found the disks were more susceptible to failure “much earlier” than previously believed, the airworthiness directive said.
Pratt & Whitney issued an instruction to operators on Aug. 4 to expedite inspections of the disks.
“Material anomalies” such as microcracking in the disks “could lead to premature fracture and uncontained failure, which indicates an immediate safety of flight problem,” the directive states.
RTX declined to comment on the directive.
(Reporting by Valerie Insinna in WashingtonEditing by Matthew Lewis)
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