A population of 13,000 fan blades from General Electric CF34-3B1 engines that power Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft have been identified by the engine manufacturer as being defective.
These blades were produced between late 2002 and late 2006 by Mexico-based Teleflex Aerospace Manufacturing Group, and rough estimates show they are present on about 1,500 CF34-3B1 engines, says a GE spokesman.
“There was a metallurgical issue [in the process for melting material for the fan blade]. The mix was such that there was slightly more aluminum in the blade than should be,” says GE. “So that is why that population of blades was defective.”
A service bulletin will be released tomorrow, directing operators to replace the fan blades over a two-year period. “It's a front fan blade so [operators] can do this on-wing,” says GE.
The engine maker has been in meetings with the FAA on the issue. "They are in full agreement with us on the service bulletin," adds GE.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday issued recommendations to the FAA citing a safety concern raised by two engine failures on CF34-powered CRJ200s.
"We are issuing this recommendation because we consider the safety risk associated with this condition to be unacceptably high," says NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker. A companion recommendation was sent to the Canadian government.
Bombardier could not be immediately reached for comment. Further comment from GE is expected today.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister news site Air Transport Intelligence news