EASA orders inspection of A380 for cracks in wing rib feet

January 20, 2012

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD), ordering inspection of certain Airbus A380 aircraft for the possible presence of cracks in the wing rib feet.

The AD states:

Following an unscheduled internal inspection of an A380 wing, some rib feet have been found with cracks originating from the rib to skin panel attachment holes (Type 1 cracks according to Airbus All Operator Telex (AOT) terminology).

Further to this finding, inspections were carried out on a number of other aeroplanes where further cracks have been found. During one of those inspections, a new form of rib foot cracking originating from the forward and aft edges of the vertical web of the rib feet has been identified (Type 2 cracks according to Airbus AOT terminology). The new form of cracking is more significant than the original rib foot hole cracking. It has been determined that the Type 2 cracks may develop on other aeroplanes after a period of time in service.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires a Detailed Visual Inspection (DVI) of certain wing rib feet. This AD also requires reporting the inspection results to Airbus.

This AD is considered to be an interim action to immediately address this condition. As a result of the on-going investigation, further mandatory actions might be considered.

The cracks were discovered by Airbus engineers while performing repair work to a Qantas A380 that had suffered an uncontained engine failure near Singapore’s Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines also discovered some cracks in on the L-shaped feet of the wing ribs. The feet attach the rib, a vertical fixture, to the cover of the wing.

On January 9th a spokesman for the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association demanded that all A380 aircraft should be grounded for inspections. Airbus reported that all planes were safe to fly and that the cracks did not pose a safety threat.

More information:


NTSB investigation A380 wing clipping incident at New York-JFK (w/video)

April 12, 2011

The U.S. NTSB is investigating a wing clipping incident that occurred on April 11, 2011 at 20:25 local time.

An Air France Airbus A380, registered F-HPJD and a Comair CRJ701ER, registered N641CA, both sustained minor damage in a ground collision occurrence at New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK).
The Airbus A380 was operating as flight AF007 to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport with 485 passengers and 25 crew onboard. It taxied to the departure runway when the port wing of AF007 clipped the tail of the CRJ, spinning it through almost 90 degrees.
The CRJ, Comair Flight 293 was taxiing to the gate following a flight from Boston. There were 52 passengers and 4 crew onboard. No injuries were reported.

More information:


ATSB: Manufacturing problem potential factor in recent A380 engine failure

December 2, 2010

The ATSB has issued a safety recommendation about potential engine problems in some Airbus A380 aircraft.

The ATSB is investigating an occurrence involving a Qantas A380 aircraft that experienced engine failure over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. The aircraft landed safely in Singapore having returned with the aircraft’s No 2 engine shut down. There were no injuries.

The ATSB has now issued a safety recommendation (AO-2010-089-SR-012) about potential engine problems in some Airbus A380 aircraft.

The safety recommendation identifies a potential manufacturing defect with an oil tube connection to the high-pressure (HP)/intermediate-pressure (IP) bearing structure of the Trent 900 engine installed in some A380 aircraft.

The problem relates to the potential for misaligned oil pipe counter-boring, which could lead to fatigue cracking, oil leakage and potential engine failure from an oil fire within the HP/IP bearing buffer space.

In response to the recommendation Rolls Royce, affected airlines and safety regulators are taking action to ensure the continued safe operation of A380 aircraft. The action involves the close inspection of affected engines and the removal from service of any engine which displays the suspected counter-boring problem.

 

 


EASA amends emergency AD on Trent engines

November 22, 2010

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a new  emergency airworthiness directive (2010-0242-E) for Rolls Royce RB211 Trent 900 series engines following a recent incident involving  such an engine on a Qantas A380.  This AD supersedes a previous emergency AD ( 2010-0236-E) that was issued on Novemer 10, 2010.

Since issuance of AD 2010-0236-E, the incident investigation has progressed and inspection data from in-service engines has been gathered and analysed.
The results of this analysis show the need to amend the inspection procedure, retaining the inspection of the air buffer cavity and focusing on the oil servicetubes within the HP/IP structure.

This AD partially retains the requirements of AD 2010-0236-E, which is superseded, and requires implementation of the amended procedure and accomplishment of the associated inspections.

 


EASA issues emergency AD on Trent engines following Qantas A380 engine failure

November 11, 2010

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Rolls Royce RB211 Trent 900 series engines following a recent incident involving  such an engine on a Qantas A380.

The incident happened on November 4, 2010 when engine nr 2. on a Qantas Airbus A380, VH-OQA, suffered an uncontained failure shortly after takeoff from Singapore.

Analysis of the preliminary elements from the incident investigation shows that an oil fire in the HP/IP structure cavity may have caused the failure of the Intermediate Pressure Turbine (IPT) Disc.

This condition, if not detected, could ultimately result in uncontained engine failure potentially leading to damage to the aeroplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground.

For these reasons and pending conclusion of the incident investigation, the AD requires repetitive inspections of the Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) stage 1 blades and case drain, HP/IP structure air buffer cavity and oil service tubes in order to detect any abnormal oil leakage, and if any discrepancy is found, to prohibit further engine operation.

 

Note: This emergency AD was superseded by a EAD 2010-0242-E on November 22:  http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/easa_ad_2010_0242_E.pdf

 


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