NEW DELHI :
SpiceJet Ltd on Thursday said it has not discovered any structural crack on its older Boeing Co. 737 NG (next generation) fleet after conducting inspections on the planes on the directive of the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA). This follows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducting checks for such cracks on a portion of the 737 fleet in the US.
“SpiceJet has inspected all its 16 Boeing 737 NG aircraft with more than 30,000 (flight) cycles and none was found affected by the cracking issue. We are in the process of inspecting aircraft with 22,600 cycles and above, which according to the airworthiness directive has to be completed within 1,000 flight cycles," an airline spokesperson said.
A flight cycle is the operation of an aircraft engine from the time it takes off until it touches the ground after completion of a flight.
A senior DGCA official said the airline has completed checks on 16 aircraft, including four freight aircraft, that completed more than 30,000 flight cycles. “All of them have been inspected and found not to have any crack," the official said requesting anonymity.
“Now we have 27 aircraft with 22,600 flight cycles and above that require inspection within the next 1,000 flight cycles," the official said.
The action by FAA follows Boeing noticing cracks on 737-800 and 737-900 planes that have completed more than 36,000 flight cycles.
Mint had on 30 September reported that DGCA will carry out inspections for structural cracks on 23 Boeing 737 planes of SpiceJet that have completed more than 26,000 flight cycles.
SpiceJet’s Boeing fleet includes 79 737 family planes, including 13 NG 737 MAX planes that are currently grounded, according to its website.
The 737 NG planes are narrow-body aircraft powered by two engines. The different variants of 737 NG planes are 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, 737-900, 737-700 ER and 737-900 ER for extended range, besides 737-800BCF (Boeing converted freighter).