Airbus A380 operators are set to be ordered to modify the type with additional drainage holes in the wing to block a potentially hazardous path for leaking fuel.
The European Aviation Safety Agency states that a fuel leak was discovered at the root of an A380’s starboard wing during a walk around.
Analysis of the circumstances shows that fuel could accumulate outboard of wing rib 13, and track across the lower part of the wing, eventually reaching the wing landing-gear.
Fuel could potentially contact hot components of the landing-gear, says EASA, resulting in ignition and propagation of fire up to the wing.
Airbus has developed a trailing-edge modification to address the issue, putting three drainage holes in a lower wing panel between ribs 13 and 15, aft of the rear spar.
EASA has put forward a proposal which would order implementation of the modification within 18 months. It is running a consultation until 14 February.
Source: Cirium Dashboard