Skymark Airlines Co., already found to have flown an airplane past its maintenance deadline, flew another plane in February without fixing a lightning-damaged part in time, transport ministry officials said Friday.
A special inspection by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry also revealed that the parts-control system database at Skymark’s aircraft servicing section had a system failure in December.
In the latest case, a Boeing 767 was hit by lightning just before landing at Fukuoka airport on Feb. 7, damaging a rivet. Inspection and maintenance procedures determined the plane could make only 50 more flights without repairs. But the plane made 55 flights before the damaged part was mended on Feb. 14, the officials said.
Previously, Skymark Airlines continued using a Boeing 767-300 in mid-March after it was struck by lightning at Tokushima airport and flew it back to Haneda airport in Tokyo because the maintenance crew in Tokushima failed to discover that a rivet under a door had melted.
The system failure on Dec. 7 did not interfere with flight operations because Skymark used an alternative system based on data current to August 2005 and original documents.
But the firm did not report the incident to the ministry until an on-site inspection was conducted about two weeks later, the officials said.
The system contains data on the inventory status of about 24,000 types of parts used in Skymark’s fleet of six airplanes and the deadlines for inspections. Fully rebuilding the database will take until late June, they said.
The inspection by the ministry task force also revealed that no record was kept of repair work conducted in February on a fire warning light in the cargo compartment of another airplane.
Workers found that the light was not working Feb. 21, and had it fixed two days later, but the ministry found no record of the repair during an inspection in April.
The ministry has been conducting special inspections on Skymark Airlines since March, when it was found to have flown the Boeing 767-300, which was hit by lightning in Tokushima, for nine months past its repair cycle.
The carrier flies between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Sapporo, Kobe, Fukuoka and Kagoshima and jointly runs flights with Japan Airlines Corp. between Tokyo and Kobe.
Skymark chief Shinichi Nishikubo was summoned Tuesday to give unsworn testimony in the Diet along with Japan Airlines Corp. chief Toshiyuki Shinmachi over the airline industry’s problems.
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