International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial
International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial

EASA Issues warning over lightning protection issues on Airbus A350

Home Articles EASA Issues warning over lightning protection issues on Airbus A350

EASA Issues warning over lightning protection issues on Airbus A350

Gabriele Petrauskaite 7th Dec 2021 Aerotime Hub

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a preliminary warning over the potential safety risks of lightning protection that may have not been installed properly on a number of Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft. 

According to the proposed airworthiness directive (AD), Heavy Expanded Copper Foil (HECF), which are used to safely disperse lightning strikes when needed, might have been installed incorrectly on the wing covers of 13 Airbus A350-941 and A350-1014 aircraft.  

In the document, the European regulator insisted the operators of jets with the manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) 0124, 0211, 0224, 0237, 0251, 0385, 0407, 0421, 0044, 0060, 0061, 0292 and 0298, must carry out gradual inspections as well as any necessary repairs of the HECF. 

However, the European authority has not forced airlines to ground the jets in question.  

“It has been identified that, due to a production-quality issue, Heavy Expanded Copper Foil (HECF) patches may not have been installed at all required locations of the WLC and WUC,” the EASA AD reads. 

The authority explained that if the issue is not detected on time, then “combined with a pre-existing undetected incorrect installation of an adjacent fastener and associated nut-cap,” it could create “an ignition source for the fuel vapor inside the fuel tanks, which, in case of a lightning strike of high intensity in the area, could possibly result in ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the affected fuel tank and consequent loss of the airplane,” the AD reads. 

For this reason, the European plane manufacturer Airbus issued a Service Bulletin (S.B.), where the company provides instructions on inspection and associated repair work for particular jets.  

“The AD requires repair or one-time special detailed inspection (SDI) of the affected areas and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s),” EASA insisted. 

Leave a Reply

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

11

  • Cookie Consent
  • GDPR consent

Cookie Consent

We use cookies to help bring you the best viewing experience of our site. By clicking Accept, you agree to us doing so. Please see our full privacy policy here.

GDPR consent

By entering data into any of our contact forms or signing in as a member you agree for IFA to store your credentials for use on the website and marketing.