Airbus A330 and A340-600 operators with 2Ku-band radomes fitted are being ordered to conduct checks of the emergency locator transmitter antenna, which appear to be vulnerable to a vortex-induced vibration.

The European Aviation Safety Agency states that inspections, following occurrences of high noise level in the aft cabin, have indicated that the transmitter antenna can become loose, with damaged fixations and cracks in the fuselage skin.

Analysis has traced the problem to vibrations which, says EASA, appear to be caused by a vortex generated by the shape of the 2Ku-band radome – which is installed in front of the ELT antenna.

This vibration leads to the high noise level and damage resulting from oscillation loads imposed on the antenna and its surrounding structure.

EASA is warning that cabin depressurisation could result if the integrity of the fuselage is compromised.

Airbus has developed technical instructions for repairing and modifying the ELT installation. EASA is ordering repetitive inspections of ELT antennas, and their fastenings, on certain aircraft which might be affected by the issue.

Source: Cirium Dashboard