Airbus Industrie is criticised in an accident report for failing to correct a problem which led to seven cowling separation incidents on A320 series aircraft.

On 20 January an International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-powered Airtours International A320 took off from London Gatwick Airport, UK, and at rotate, both cowling shells of the No 1 engine flew up and were torn free, says the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report. Damage to the engine pylon and other parts of the aircraft resulted, but the aircraft landed safely.

All the cowling separation incidents had resulted from failure to latch the units after engine checks, says the AAIB. The criticism was that the human factors lessons learned should have the manufacturer modify the latching system so that failure to secure the cowls could not go unnoticed.

Airbus says it is to adopt a modification which holds the cowl open if the latches are not fastened. All new aircraft will embody the modification, and existing customers will be advised to retrofit it.

Source: Flight International