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NTSB wants urgent inspections of new engines on Boeing 787s and 747-8s


Following the failure of an engine during a Boeing 787 taxi test in Charleston, S.C., in July, the NTSB now wants urgent inspections of all GEnx-1B and -2B engines. Boeing 787s that have been delivered with those engines have already been inspected for signs of fan midshaft fatigue cracks, which is believed to have caused the July engine failure. But the same engines are also used on many 747-8F freighters in service and haven't been inspected yet. A cargo flight departing from Shanghai recently aborted its takeoff when pressure dropped in one engine. After safely returning to the ramp, photos of that plane's turbine showed similar damage as the engine in the Charleston incident. And last month, an inspection of an engine on a new 787 that hadn't flown yet also showed signs of fan midshaft cracks. The inspection process involves using ultrasonic and X-ray equipment in the field, and the plane's engines do not have to be removed to conduct the test.