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DC-10s Ordered Checked After Cracks Found in Tails of Three Jets

April 1, 1987

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Douglas Aircraft Co. has advised airlines worldwide to check their DC-10 jumbo jets for cracks similar to those found in the tails of three of the planes.

The warning applies to DC-10s that have spent more than 40,000 hours in the air or made more than 10,000 landings, Elayne Bendel of Douglas, a division of St. Louis-based McDonnell Douglas Corp., said Tuesday.

A total of 199 DC-10s in use use by 47 carriers - less than half of the company’s DC-10s in service - fall into that category, Ms. Bendel said.

″It is a concern to us that these cracks be found and repaired while they are small,″ Ms. Bendel said.

The airlines were told to complete their inspections within five days, which Ms. Bendel acknowledged was ″a fairly condensed inspection time, but it is do-able.″

She said one carrier, conducting routine maintenance on another operator’s plane, discovered the crack in the horizontal stabilizer, then decided to inspect its own DC-10s and found similar cracks in two of them. She declined to identify the carriers.