Cape Air Grounds Cessna 402 Fleet

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Cape Air, a local airline based in Hyannis, Mass., on Tuesday voluntarily grounded 34 of its 49 Cessna 402 piston twins that fly in New England, the Caribbean and Florida after experiencing three engine failures in three weeks. Two failures occurred in late May, and the third on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Boston Globe. All three airplanes landed safely with the remaining working engine. "Several recent engine abnormalities have led us to examine the wear-rate in one of the engine components," the company said in a "Travel Alert" posted on its Web site. "To eliminate any risk this could create, replacement parts will be installed in every airplane and we have brought in colleagues from the engine manufacturer and the FAA to support our effort." The airline said it is grounding the aircraft as a "conservative yet wise precaution" and expects to have them all flying again in about two weeks. Company spokeswoman Michelle Haynes told the Cape Cod Times it was premature to comment on how much the repairs would cost and whether the engine manufacturer, Continental Teledyne, would pay the costs. "The unusual wear pattern on these parts has to be fixed," Haynes told the Times. "It's a tough decision, but it's the only decision." The FAA told AVweb, "The engine manufacturer identified the problem and the carrier elected to voluntarily remove aircraft from service. Boston FSDO, Engine Directorate and the Atlanta ACO (which oversees Teledyne of Mobile, Alabama) are working with the carrier and monitoring the work and also providing any other assitance they can, No additional notifications have been undertaken by FAA at this time. The carrier is notifying FAA as the work is done."