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Boeing may change the recommended inspection interval of engine pylons, following the recent discovery of cracks on that part of three of its 767 planes, which - says the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration - could have caused the engines to separate from the aircraft in mid-flight.

All the Boeing 767 jets in question belong to American Airlines. The cracks were discovered during routine safety inspections. American Airlines says, by the way, that cracks were found on only two of its jets - not three; it's the FAA that counted to three.

Be that as it may, the FAA says it may hand down a requirement for more frequent inspections of the engine pylon area. Any change to Boeing's inspection recommendations would be binding for all airlines using its jets, including El Al. The Israeli airline has eight Boeing 767s in service.

Boeing Israel told TheMarker yesterday that the cracks had been found in the middle girder of the pylon connecting the engine to the wing, and added that the inspectors had discerned the cracks when working on another section of the aircraft. The inspection that ordinarily would have found such cracks was not yet due.

"This is how maintenance is done," said Tim Wagner, spokesman for American Airlines parent company AMR.