The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued another Airworthiness Directive on February 8, 2012, requiring more checks of the wings of all Airbus A380 aircraft in operation for cracks.
The new mandate requires all 68 A380 aircraft in service to be inspected, following the recent grounding of one of Qantas' superjumbo upon discovering more cracks (see story here).
The directive requires all aircraft that have accumulated between 1,216 and 1,384 flights “to be inspected within six weeks of February 13, 2012,” and aircraft that have completed more than 1,384 flights “will have to be inspected within three weeks of this date.” The first round of inspections only applied to aircraft that had completed more than 1,300 flights or 1,800 flights.
Airbus has established a repair scheme if cracks are found and is also “working on a long-term fix to be defined by the summer of 2012.”
A spokesperson from Korean Air, which currently operates five A380 aircraft since last year, stated that the carrier will "perform detailed inspections in close collaboration with Airbus before the recommended inspection period." Other A380 operators, including Lufthansa, have not yet responded to the situation.
For more information, visit www.airbus.com