EASA to order rivet switch in A380 nose

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European safety regulators have ordered the replacement of rivets in the nose of Airbus A380s after an engineering review turned up non-compliant components.

The aluminium rivets are located at the junction of frame zero and fuselage stringer 21.

Fatigue analysis showed that while structure limit load capability "is still ensured", the junction "may not support ultimate load".

In a proposed airworthiness directive the European Aviation Safety Agency said that the rivets are "not in compliance with the certification requirements".

Rapid decompression could lead to in-flight loss of the radome and "adversely affect the structural integrity" of the aircraft, it added.

EASA is intending to order that the aluminium rivets be replaced by titanium fasteners within eight months, on all aircraft which have not already undergone modification in production. The directive remains open to consultation until mid-March.