Airlines checking engine bolts on Embraer jets

Associated Press |

DALLAS (AP) — Brazilian plane maker Embraer is telling airlines to inspect pins or bolts that hold the engines on its twin-engine E190 regional jet.

An Embraer spokeswoman said Friday that the company sent a service bulletin to airlines as a preventive measure, and called the action routine. The company declined further comment.

Virgin Australia grounded several of its Embraer E190s this week after discovering a problem with bolts that hold the engines to pylons that are attached to the wings, prompting Embraer to issue a worldwide alert, according to published reports in Australia.

During inspections Thursday, maintenance crews found loose bolts "to various degrees" on 12 of the 20 E190s flown by US Airways Express, part of American Airlines Group Inc., company spokesman Paul Flaningan told The Associated Press. He said that the bolts were tightened and the planes returned to flying the same day.

JetBlue Airways did not immediately return a call for comment. The airline had 60 of the planes at the start of the year, according to a regulatory filing.

The E190 has between 98 and114 seats, according to Embraer's website. Airlines tend to use it on routes where they might not sell enough tickets to fill a larger plane such as a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. They are capable of long flights, with range up to 2,400 nautical miles, according to the company.

Embraer has delivered 500 of the planes and had 68 on backlog as of March 31. Other major customers for the plane include Air Canada and China's Hainan Airlines.

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