As the maintenance paperwork trail on the Lockheed JetStar has wound its way from the Atlanta manufacturer to the FAA’s Transport Aircraft Certification branch in Seattle, the owners of the four dozen or so JetStars still flying worldwide are trying to figure out whether or not they actually have a problem on their hands.
Lockheed 1329-23E JetStar, Houston, May 15, 2004–On final approach to William P. Hobby Airport, the pilot extended full flaps. The airplane decelerated and rolled uncontrollably to the left. The pilot regained control and landed without incident. On inspection, it was found that the left inboard flap had separated and the attach bolts were still in the flap attach brackets.
An upcoming standoff for parts could spell serious problems for Lockheed JetStar owners. Some operators report Lockheed Martin will soon revise the maintenance manual with life limits for wing attachment bolts, tail pivot fittings, flaps and nosewheel steering. While not yet mandated by an AD, repairs could cost each operator up to $300,000, or about one-third of the aircraft’s current hull value.
International Aero Engines will provide service support for its V2500-A5 powerplants fitted to 20 Jetstar Airways Airbus A320s, plus three spare units under a 10-year deal. The Australian low-cost carrier currently has 15 IAE-powered A320s in service and will have 23 aircraft by June 2006.
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