Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Qantas A380 Out Of Service After Cracks Found In Wings

SYDNEY (Dow Jones)--Qantas Airways Ltd. said Wednesday it has taken one of its Airbus A380 superjumbos out of service after cracks were discovered in its wings.

Australia's flag carrier said the cracks don't pose a threat to safety and are different from the type of cracks discovered in the wings of some A380s last month that prompted a European Aviation Safety Agency directive.

"After routine checks on a Qantas A380 involved in severe turbulence in early January, Airbus requested additional precautionary inspections of the aircraft's wings," a Qantas spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

"During these inspections minor cracking has been found on some wing rib feet. This cracking is not related to the turbulence, or specific to Qantas, but is traced back to a manufacturing issue. Airbus has confirmed that it has no effect on flight safety."

Qantas said it expects to have the aircraft back in service within a week.

The airline last month found "minor" cracks on another one of its A380s, but the spokeswoman said that the "type two" cracking that prompted the airworthiness directive hasn't been found on Qantas aircraft.

Airbus, the unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. that manufactures the planes, has said consistently that the A380 remains safe.


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