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A380 operators told to check for trailing-edge cracks

Airbus A380 operators are set to be instructed to check for cracks in the trailing edge, and trailing-edge devices, of the double-deck type.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency says the directive is intended to prevent in-flight loss of parts from the trailing edge, following findings of cracks in devices on both sides.

Airbus has addressed the situation with service bulletins covering inspection instructions for various locations and modifications to achieve design service targets.

The EASA directive lists some 30 structures for inspection, with individual service bulletins identifying the specific A380 airframes to which they apply.

These structures include ribs, actuator brackets and actuator clevis assemblies at a number of spoiler locations.

EASA's proposed directive mentions that several of the structures are "made from 7449".

Airbus has previously experienced a wing component cracking issue which involved an aluminium alloy known as type 7449, an issue which resulted in an extensive retrofit programme and use of a more robust alloy.

EASA says the new detailed inspections of the trailing edge and trailing-edge devices need to be carried out within 147 months of the A380 date of manufacture, and then at six-year intervals.

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