Qantas Airways has grounded one of its Airbus A380 aircraft due to the discovery of cracks in its wings during inspections.
The carrier stated that “minor cracking has been found on some wing rib feet,” and is therefore working closely with Airbus to repair the faults. “We will follow Airbus’ instructions on any further action that may be required. However, we expect the aircraft to be back in service within a week.”
The cracks were found during routine checks after the occurrence of severe turbulence in January.
The carrier clarified that these cracks, however, were different to the more serious ‘Type Two’ cracks that prompted the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to issue an Airworthiness Directive for urgent inspections (see story here). “To date, type two cracking has not been found on Qantas aircraft,” stated the carrier.
It is still unclear whether this will affect flights operated by the A380 and the carrier has not announced which aircraft will be deployed instead of the superjumbo.
For more information, visit www.qantas.com.au