EASA today issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for A380 operators to inspect and possibly replace a particular movable flap track fairings (MFTF) on the wings of Airbus A380s powered by both Engine Alliance and Rolls-Royce engines.
The AD is the second issued by EASA on the super jumbo in less than a month. The first directive published on 17 November required operators of Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered A380s to inspect high pressure turbine nozzle guide vanes for cracking.
Under the latest directive operators must complete inspections for MFTF number 6 fairings "in order to detect cracks before they become critical" and if found, to replace the part. EASA says cracks could lead to in-flight loss of the fairing, "potentially resulting in injuries to persons on the ground".
Airbus found evidence of cracks and delamination of the composite fairings during the Engine Alliance-powered A380-861 test campaign, but the AD is not limited to those engines.
Ultrasonic and eddy current inspections of the MFTFs for the Engine Alliance-powered aircraft must be done before the parts have accumulated 100 flight cycles since installed, with repeat inspections every 10 flight cycles thereafter if no cracks are found. Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft must be inspected before accumulating 500 flight cycles, with repeat inspections every 50 flight cycles.