Airbus ordered to check all A380s currently in service
The European Aviation Safety Agency has ordered Airbus to check all 68 A380s that are currently in service. This expands an earlier check of 20 of the aircraft type, whose wings were made in North Wales, UK. Cracks were found in the wing components. However, the aircraft manufacturer stresses that the “safe operation of the planes is not affected”. A temporary solution to the problem is now being put in place, it says, with a permanent solution to be rolled out soon.
But it appears that the problem may be deeper than previously thought, as investigators checking the first 20 A380s had found a new form of cracking. “This condition, if not detected and corrected, may lead to reduction of the structural integrity of the aeroplane,” Airbus says. Qantas Airways discovered 36 small cracks in the rib feet, or metal brackets, which connect the ribs of the wing to its skin. Singapore Airlines also found cracks, but said it had repaired them and returned the planes to the skies.