§ Mr. Michael Spicer
The Civil Aviation Authority, which has the statutory responsibility for ensuring the safety of aircraft, informs me that aircraft built to modern standards, such as Boeing 747, ae designed to be tolerant of structural cracking which can occur in service. Inspections are specified initially as a result of manufacturers' testing, but subsequently take account of service experience. The cracking recently discovered on some Boeing 747 aircraft was within the structural capability of the aircraft concerned. However, the CAA informs me that additional inspections are being specified to ensure that any necessary rectification action is taken in good time.