Local News

RDU Travelers Not Bothered by Mandatory Plane Inspections

Posted February 12, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Airlines at RDU International are moving ahead with mandatory inspections of all aircraft similar to theAlaska Airlinesjet that crashed.

The mandatory inspections include MD-80s, MD-90s, DC-9s, and Boeing 717s. Close to 1,200 planes in all.

Airlines have until midday Monday to complete the necessary inspections ordered by theFAA.

Investigators believe problems with the tail wing jackscrews may have been to blame. They are the 2-foot-long rods that drive the stabilizers that keep planes level.

The inspections have caused some flight delays, but most passengers at RDU International say they are not worried about their safety.

"I know you are safer flying than you are driving. I always figure the safest time to fly is right after something is happened because they are going to be checking everything," says traveler Bonita Davis.

So far at RDU, American Airlines has felt the biggest impact. The airline has the largest fleet of MD-80s in the world.

Since Thursday, the FAA reports at least 21 planes belonging to several different airlines have been found to have irregularities with tail wing jackscrews.

The FAA said 13 planes had been grounded for jackscrew problems, though some were back in service. From staff and wire reports