Thursday, January 19, 2012

Airbus A380 Cracks Prompt EU Safety Regulator to Seek Inspection

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS’s flagship A380 superjumbo planes will require inspections after additional cracks appeared on structures inside the wings, the European Aviation Safety Agency said.  EASA plans to issue an airworthiness directive today advising airlines on procedures, Dominique Fouda, a spokesman for the agency, said by phone from Cologne, Germany, yesterday. The agency hasn’t yet determined how often the planes will need to be checked, Fouda said.

The planned safety ruling follows separate disclosures last week by Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Qantas Airways Ltd., which said they had found small cracks in parts known as wing-rib feet, which attach the rib, a vertical structure, to the cover of the wing. Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said that while the cracks are “embarrassing,” they pose no dangers to passengers on the 525-seat planes.  “I can’t say I’m proud” of the situation, Enders said in an interview with CNN that aired late yesterday after EASA announced its intention to require inspections. “We’re obviously investigating how it happened. We think we have a good understanding but the investigation is ongoing.” More....

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