EASA ordered a mandatory inspection on 25 Airbus A380 aircraft after cracks were discovered in the region of the outer rear wing spar, notably on top and bottom flanges between ribs 33 and 49. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published on 5 July 2019 an Airworthiness Directive to mandate a prompt detailed visual inspection of the wings on 25 Airbus A380 jet of older models. Applicability:
Airbus A380-841, A380-842 and A380-861 aeroplanes, manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) 0006 to 0017 inclusive, MSN 0019 to 0023 inclusive, MSN 0025 to 0027 inclusive, and MSN 0029, 0033, 0034, 0038 and 0040.
This AD is considered an interim action, limited to the 25 oldest wing sets. Based on inspection findings, further AD action may follow to address additional in-service aeroplanes. Reason:
“Occurrences have been reported of finding cracks in the affected areas of the wing ORS on in-service A380 aeroplanes. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus plans to issue the SB to provide inspection instructions.
For the reason described above, this AD requires repetitive special detailed inspections (SDI) of the affected areas, by using phased-array ultrasonic testing methods for external wing box and ultrasonic testing methods for internal wing box.” Affected areas:
Wing outer rear spar (ORS) top and bottom flanges, between ribs 33 and 49, on both left-hand and right-hand sides. Inspection(s):
Within 180 months since the applicable wing box assembly date, or within 147 months since Airbus date of manufacture, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD, and, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 36 months, accomplish an SDI of the affected areas in accordance with the instructions of the SB. Note 1: The 36 months inspection interval is applicable for not-repaired areas. For areas repaired as required by paragraph (2) of this AD, the intervals for post-repair inspection as required by paragraph (1) of this AD are those specified in the Airbus approved repair instructions. Corrective Action(s):
If, during any inspection as required by paragraph (1) of this AD, any crack is detected, before next flight, contact Airbus for approved repair instructions and accomplish those instructions accordingly (see Note 1 of this AD).