Numerous Airbus A380 operators have been instructed to check for cracks in the ‘trailing edge’, and trailing-edge devices, which is the rear section of the aircraft’ wings.
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 in service bulletins covering inspection instructions for various locations and modifications to achieve design service targets.
The EASA directive lists 30 various structures for inspection, with individual service bulletins identifying the specific A380 airframes to which they apply.
These sections highlighted 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.