FAA mandates inspection of some Pratt & Whitney jet engines

The FAA plans to issue an emergency order on Tuesday directing operators of planes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney engines to remove them from service within 30 days for a safety inspection. 

The order applies to Pratt & Whitney PW1100 and PW1400 series engines, all of which are operating on Airbus A320neo aircraft. The FAA said that the directive affects 20 engines on U.S.-registered aircraft and 202 engines worldwide. 

In July, Pratt & Whitney announced that a rare condition in powder metal used to manufacture certain engine parts would require accelerated fleet inspections for metal fatigue.

The company said approximately 200 aircraft would need to be inspected by mid-September and another 1,000 would need to be inspected in the next nine to 12 months.

U.S. airlines impacted by those 1,200 inspections include Spirit, Hawaiian and JetBlue, according to Aviation Week.

Under the FAA directive, airlines will have to conduct ultrasonic inspections of first- and second-stage engine hubs for soundness. 

The FAA said it is issuing the emergency order after reviewing a Dec. 24, 2022 incident in which an Airbus jet powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW1100-series engine had to abort takeoff following an engine shutdown. 

The incident revealed that those engines are susceptible to failure much earlier than previously determined. 

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