FAA Orders Inspection for Cracked Wings

Operators of Beech 1900 airplanes were ordered Friday to inspect the wings of those planes immediately for cracks that could cause them to fall off.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued the emergency directive after receiving three reports of cracks in the wings of the airplanes, according to FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette.

The agency also requires any cracks or damage to be repaired and reported.

Cracks are often a result of the stress placed on the airplane's metal skin during takeoff and landing. They usually start out small, but can spread.

All the operators have already been told to inspect the planes, and most of the airplanes have been inspected, said Mike Turner, spokesman for Raytheon Aircraft Co., which made the Beech 1900 until 2002. The company is a division of Raytheon Co.

Beech 1900s are twin-engine turboprops that usually carry 19 passengers, and there are about 350 in service, Duquette said.

Operators of more than a dozen Beech 1900s include Central Mountain Air Ltd.; Air Midwest Inc.; Champlain Enterprises, Inc.; Propair, Inc.; Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd.; Gulfstream International Airlines Inc.; and Ameriflight, Inc.; according to the FAA.


On the Net:

Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov

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