Needs Work: Too few jet mechanics, too many breakdowns

Too few jet mechanics, too many breakdowns

Are commercial airliners being maintained properly? A barrage of questions about passenger-jet safety were raised last week in the midst of the busy summer travel season. The Air Transport Association, an industry trade group, reported that U.S. carriers are facing a serious shortage of mechanics even as demand for them is growing. Meanwhile, as if to point up the understaffing in the hangars, several airlines were forced to abort flights because of mechanical problems:

-- The most frightening accident of the week was reminiscent of the July 19 crash of a United Airlines DC-10 in Sioux City, Iowa, caused when the...

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