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EASA mandates further inspections of the wings of A380

9-Feb-2012 9:18 AM

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published (08-Feb-2012) an airworthiness directive to mandate a 'high frequency eddy current' inspection of the wings of all 68 A380 aircraft in service. This directive is a second interim measure to prevent any unsafe conditions following a first directive issued three weeks ago. Aircraft that have accumulated less than 1216 flights will have to be inspected upon accumulation of 1300 flights. Aircraft between 1216 and 1384 flights are to be inspected within six weeks of 13-Feb-2012. Aircraft that have completed more than 1384 flights will have to be inspected within three weeks of this date. In accordance with EASA, Airbus has established a repair scheme if cracks are found during the inspection. In parallel, EASA and Airbus are working on a long-term fix to be defined by summer 2012. Airbus stated short-term fixes will take up to five days, while a long-term solution could involve different manufacturing techniques and material for the wing brackets, according to Bloomberg reports. The revised directive will require A380 operators to check for cracks using non-destructive techniques involving high-frequency electrical currents, Dow Jones reported. Prior to this, mandated inspections have been visual. [more - original PR]