FAA Issues GEnx AD, NTSB Reports

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Here's FAA's immediate adoptive AD ordering immediate inspections of GE GEnx fan mid-shafts (FMS). No big news, as all operators have performed the checks per a GE service bulletin issued Sept. 14, reports colleague John Croft over on the pay-to-read part of Planet AvWeek.

In fact, the directive is notable for what's not in it--namely, any mention of the September 11 GEnx FMS failure on an Air Bridge 747-8F during a takeoff run in Shanghai that prompted two "urgent" NTSB recommendations three days later. The FAA directive cites the July 28 ground test incident in Charleston and, during inspections prompted by that incident, an August 13 discovery of a cracked GEnx fan mid-shaft found on a 787 that hadn't flown yet.

FAA's non-reference of NTSB's recommendation is no surprise--the agency's official stance is that many factors go into the issuance of an AD. Besides, FAA isn't all that big on acknowledging when its movement has been helped along by a nudge from the safety board. 

NTSB, on the other hand, has no such reservations. In fact, the only press release issued on the GEnx AD came from the board itself. Lauded the board:

The NTSB applauds the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) action calling for immediate initial and recurring inspections of the fan midshaft installed in General Electric (GE) GEnx-1B and -2B engines that power Boeing 787 and 747-8 airplanes. Although the NTSB will be evaluating the details of these actions to determine their responsiveness to its September 14th urgent safety recommendations, the NTSB is encouraged by this action.

Inside-the-beltway collaboration at its finest....

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