Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Further cracks found on A380 wing brackets

Engineers in charge of inspecting A380 aircraft have found a similar flaw on at least one further aircraft, according to industry sources.

The flaws relate to two types cracks on the same type of bracket inside the wings. The airlines have until Friday to complete the first phase of checks established by European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa)

Easa has also ordered compulsory inspections for A380's that have flown more than 1,300 flight cycle to take place over the next six weeks. A380's which have flown more than 1,800 cycles will have to be checked by next Friday.

The planes that are likely to have been used most are the 10 owned by Singapor Airlines, 7 owned by Emirates, one owned by Air France and two test planes.

Although the cracks are cause for concern, there are more than 2,000 brackets on each A380 and the cracks have only been found on a few of the brackets. Airbus have also said that the cracks are on the 'non-critical' brackets.

Despite this analysis from Airbus, an Australian engineering union has accused airbus of playing down the problem. Stephen Purvinas, the federal secretary or the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said:

"I would be worried that Airbus aren't taking seriously the ever-increasing number of cracks being found in the wings of their A380 aircraft. Put it this way: I wouldn't put my family on an A380 at the moment," he said.