In a blow to GE’s (NYSE: GE) huge jet engine division, The National Transportation Safety Board issued
two urgent safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding two recent occurrences in which the fan midshaft on General Electric GEnx-1B engines fractured or exhibited crack indications; and a GEnx -2B incident that appears similar in nature.
The jet engine business has been an earnings generator during a period of the last five years when GE has struggled to increase revenue and has producted lackluster earnings. CEO Jeff Immedlt has done very moderate restructuring of the parent company, the most significant of which was to sell much of its interest in NBCUniversal to Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)
The government warning added:
The recommendations are: (1) Issue an airworthiness directive to require, before further flight, the immediate ultrasonic inspection of the fan midshaft in all GEnx-1B and -2B engines that have not undergone inspection, and (2) Require repetitive inspections of the fan midshaft at a sufficiently short interval that would permit multiple inspections and detection of a crack before it could reach critical length and the fan midshaft fractures.
Boeing (NYSE: BA) was also involved in the investigation.
Douglas A. McIntyre