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Embraer 190

Messagepar AVION » Ven 20 Mai 2011, 20:19

Embraer E-190 Jets Need Checks for Metal Cracks, Brazil Regulator Says

E-190 jets, flown by carriers including US Airways Group Inc. (LCC), need more frequent inspections after tests turned up cracks that may indicate a structural flaw, Brazil’s aviation authority said.

Cracks were found after metal-fatigue checks in unspecified “structural components” that could compromise the plane’s integrity, the regulator, known as Anac, said in an airworthiness directive on its website. It set a 90-day deadline starting June 16 to comply with the new procedures.

“Failure to inspect these structural components, according to the new tasks, thresholds and intervals, could prevent a timely detection of fatigue cracking,” Anac said. “These cracks, if not properly addressed, could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.”

The E-190 can carry as many as 114 passengers and is operated by airlines such as US Airways, JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU), Air Canada and Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras, founded by former JetBlue Chairman David Neeleman. Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil-based Embraer has delivered 332 of the jets.

Embraer “is aware of the matter and evaluates a solution to comply with this directive by June 16,” a press officer said in an e-mail on condition of anonymity, citing policy at the world’s fourth-largest commercial planemaker.

Embraer rose 0.93 percent to 12.97 reais today in Sao Paulo trading.

Air Canada, JetBlue
Air Canada found “no anomalies” in inspections of its E- 190s, said Angela Mah, a spokeswoman. The airline has 45 of the planes, according to its website.

JetBlue also has completed inspections of its E-190s, said Sebastian White, a spokesman for the New York-based airline.

“We are fully compliant and have seen no operational impact,” he said in an e-mailed statement. JetBlue operated 45 of the planes at the end of 2010, according to a regulatory filing.

Azul will meet Anac’s deadline, and the change in maintenance procedures is “perfectly compatible with present operations,” the carrier said in an e-mailed statement. It has 10 E-190s, according to the Ascend Online Fleets database.

A spokesman for New York-based US Airways couldn’t immediately comment. Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways operates 15 of the Embraer planes, according to Ascend Online Fleets.

The twin-engine E-190 began flying in 2004. Embraer has 170 firm orders for the plane, according to the company’s first- quarter earnings release.
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