Delta Air Lines advised its pilots Tuesday to take off more slowly to reduce engine stress after federal investigators said a crack in a recycled metal part may have caused an engine to rip apart Saturday, killing two passengers.
“You really don’t know what to do, so you do what you can,” Delta spokesman Bill Berry said from the airline’s headquarters in Atlanta.
Delta and other carriers that use Pratt & Whitney JT8D-type engines are awaiting the outcome of a National Transportation Safety Board probe to determine what caused the inch-deep crack and what other steps should be taken.
How much pilots can reduce power on takeoffs will depend on runway length, temperature and other variables, Delta said.
Since the accident, Delta has used electric current testing on engine hubs, a more sensitive method for detecting small, internal cracks by gauging any interruption of current. None of the first four hubs tested by Tuesday afternoon had any cracks.