Qantas: A380 Cracking Not A Problem

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Singapore Airlines and Qantas have found "small cracks" in the wing-rib feet of at least three of their Airbus A380 super-jumbo aircraft; both say the cracks are not a safety issue. The two carriers operate at least 24 A380s between them with about 25 more on order. One of the affected aircraft is the Qantas jet that in November 2010 suffered an en route uncontained engine failure. A Qantas spokesman said the company believes the cracking is unrelated to that event, according to investigators. Both carriers said Friday that repairs have been made.

The cracks were found on the wing rib feet during inspections last year. Regulatory authorities have been made a part of the process and will be part of future inspection and repair processes as needed. A380 operators are not required to take any action at this time because the cracking has not been deemed a risk to flight safety. Airbus says it has traced the problem, developed inspection and repair procedures and that those should be performed during routine scheduled maintenance at four-year intervals.