Airbus A380 picture by Flickr user Peter Pearson
Cracks have been found in Airbus A380s flown by Singapore Airlines and Qantas. While Airbus maintains that the aircraft were safe, all airlines using the A380s have been advised to check for cracks.
“We confirm that cracks were found on non-critical wing attachments on a limited number of A380s,” an Airbus spokesperson said.
“We’ve traced the origin of these hairline cracks, and developed an inspection and repair procedure which can be done during routine maintenance.”
UK engineers said small cracks were unlikely to affect the operation of the aircraft, however they would encourage all airlines to check their aircraft anyway.
Philippa Oldham, head of transport at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said: “The cracks detected by Qantas and Singapore Airlines on some of the wings Airbus A380 should lead to all airlines using the A380 to inspect their aircraft thoroughly.
“Airlines approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have very strict regulations and require there to be rigorous inspection procedures, so an aircraft would not be allowed to fly unless it was deemed to be fully airworthy by the authority or their delegates.”
The aircraft has been in service for five years, and in total, 67 Airbus A380s are in use worldwide.