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Report: European planes fly with defects

LONDON, July 18 (UPI) -- Unreported faults are resulting in numerous flights in defective planes across Europe, an investigation by a Dutch-based group alleges.

The Independent newspaper reported Friday that a survey of aircraft maintenance engineers found that 80 to 90 percent of faults were not reported until after pilots completed flights or late in a flight schedule.

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Fred Bruggeman, secretary general of the Netherlands-based Aircraft Engineers International which conducted the survey, criticized government officials.

"We are positive that if regulators examined logbooks in the way we have, they will discover exactly the same pattern of late reporting. Their shocking lack of response makes it clear to us that they do not want to open Pandora's Box. We fear regulators had become too cosy with the aviation industry and are not taking our safety concerns seriously enough," he said.

That charge was denied by Britain's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority.

"The AEI have been making these claims for some time, but they have so far failed to provide us with specific examples. We have carried out our own checks and have found no discrepancies," said Richard Taylor, a Civil Aviation Authority spokesman.

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