Alaska Airlines grounds 18 planes

Alaska Airlines has grounded several airplanes after it discovered it may not have been testing some parts adequately.

Up to 18 MD-80s in the Alaska Airlines fleet will stay on the ground until their jackscrews can be checked.

The jackscrew controls the MD-80's tail-mounted horizontal stabilizer. The airline has learned some of the tools it has used to test it may not meet the manufacturer's specifications.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were no indications of other problems, but it suggested that other airlines that fly the MD-80 and its sister craft, the DC-9, check their own planes.

On Jan. 31, an Alaska Airlines MD-80 crashed off the California coast, killing 88 people. Investigators into that crash raised concerns about maintenance, and pointed out the condition of that plane's jackscrew showed signs it lacked proper lubrication.

"Alaska Airlines has done the right thing by deciding to double-check the jackscrew tolerances of the remainder of its MD-80s," the FAA said in a statement late on Thursday.