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Monday, August 5, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Eleven BA-Comair B737s suffer mass grounding over expired parts.

Comair LtdThe South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on Friday, August 2, reportedly grounded eleven of British Airways-Comair's aircraft after they were found to be flying with components whose life-cycle expired in August 2012.

BA Comair 737-300
According to Afrikaans paper, Rapport, the eleven aircraft included five B737-300s and B737-400s, four of which were grounded by SACAA in Cape Town and Durban. The affected aircraft were then ferried to Johannesburg for the requisite parts replacement at SAA Technical.

Comair says its operational shortfall was successfully covered by its LCC, kulula's B737-800 fleet.

The CAA report said that if the components in question, known as the spindle, cracked or was damaged in any way, it could have led to the pilot losing control over the aircraft.

Martin Louw, Comair's operations director, said SAA Technical, Comair's MRO provider, had checked the number of cycles but had not tracked the date of expiry of the parts.
"The specific component in question is at the blowout bearing on the wings as the aircraft land or take off. This component must be replaced after 20,000 flights or every six years."
Mr Louw stressed that no component was broken or cracked at any stage.
"We immediately started working to replace the components and all the aircraft should be available [for operations] Monday night."

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