Engine Explosion Shows Inspections Don't Always Work

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When an engine on a Boeing 767 suffered uncontained failure and blew apart on the ramp in Los Angeles earlier this month, federal regulators took note. Not just because some engine parts were found more than a half-mile away, but because they had believed the exploding-engine problem had been solved. After several similar failures, including the famous one in 1989 when the crew landed a disabled DC-10 using just engine thrust after the controls failed (see AVweb's interview with The New York Times reported on Monday. That it failed on the ground and nobody was hurt was just luck. The engines involved are variations of the General Electric CF6 built between 1982 and 2001. In 2001, the company switched to a stronger disk, according to the Times. "I view these as warning shots," John Goglia, a former member of the NTSB, told the Times. "If we don't pay attention and figure out what went wrong, we're going to repeat it."