Qantas A380 grounded after wing cracks found
Wed, 08 Feb 2012 11:52a.m.
By 3 News online staff
One of Qantas’ top aircraft, the A380, has been taken out of service after engineers discovered 36 cracks in its wings.
The hairline cracks were discovered during routine checks of the aircraft after it hit severe turbulence during a flight over India, stuff.co.nz reported.
However Qantas says the cracks were unrelated to the turbulence and are instead the result of a manufacturing issue at Airbus.
Qantas has discovered hairline cracks in the two double-deck A380s it has so far inspected, but the airline stresses that none of the cracks are longer than around two centimetres.
It also says the cracks are not as serious as the ‘type two’ cracking discovered last month by Airbus, which prompted European regulators to immediately inspect almost a third of the global fleet.
A spokesperson said type-two cracking “has not been found on Qantas aircraft”.
The cracks were in the wing-rib feet of the aircraft, which attach the skins of the wings to brackets. The plane may be out of action for up to a week.
Airbus has stated repeatedly that despite the cracking, the A380s are safe to fly.
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