European Air Safety Agency inspects cracked Airbus A380 wings

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The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced twenty Airbus A380 planes will be undergoing visual inspection for cracks developed in their wings. The safety regulator added that there are a few planes which carried out 1800 flights that will need a special inspection within four days.

However, Airbus insisted that the cracks are not an immediate threat to aircraft safety but added that if cracks are found during inspection then it would carry out the repairs.

If the visual inspection takes place then it would affect the flights of airlines like Singapore, Emirates and Air France. Both EASA and Airbus said they are working closely together to continue safe operations of A380 and both have established a repair function for safer flights.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the plane,the agency statement said.

CRACK ON

According to the agency, cracks may develop on planes after time service period.”This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane,” said the safety agency in its directive ordering the inspections.

However, it is not the first time when the cracks have being found in Airbus A380 wings. Earlier, cracks were found during repairs to Qantas A380 that followed after a blowout of its Rolls Royce engines in November 2010. Major cracks were found on Thursday in the wings that were assembled in the UK.

Airbus experts insisted there is no flight safety issue and both short and long term cracks are being fixed to avoid any hazard in the future. Reports suggest the cracks have been found on the central section of two engines.

“Airbus confirms that during routine inspections some additional cracks have been found on a limited number of non-critical brackets (known as rib-skin attachments or wing rib feet) inside the wings of some A380s,” the plane maker said in a statement.

However, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said further measures must be taken to ensure safety.The new form of cracking is more significant than the original rib foot hole cracking. As a result of the on-going investigation, further mandatory action might be considered.

Sources: Aviationweek.com, BBC News

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