In a proposed directive, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced that the outer rear wing spars need to be examined on the oldest 25 A380 wing sets.
The wing inspection, which needs to examine the area around which cracks have been discovered, specifically on the top and bottom flanges between the 33rd and 49th ribs.
Both of the wings could potentially be affected, with EASA stating that the problems could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.
Airbus themselves have responded by planning to issue a service bulletin containing the instructions on how to carry out the inspection, which will require phased array ultrasonic testing of the wing box.
The inspections need to be carried out within 180 months of the assembly of the wing box or 147 months since the aircraft’s manufacture. They will also then need to be repeated every 36 months. If a crack is discovered operators are instructed to contact Airbus before flying the aircraft.
Nick Ashwell-Rice has worked in aviation and defence journalism since 2014 whilst also maintaining a career outside of the industry. He has been Editor-in-Chief at Talking Aero since its inception