The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is recommending that operators of IAE V2500-powered Airbus A320-family aircraft follow a service bulletin (SB) released by Airbus in May to prevent engine fire-extinguishing pipes from cracking.
The issue is not new. Airbus issued its first SB on the problem in 1994, and followed up with an improved pipe outfitted on production-line aircraft, starting in 2002. But operators subsequently reported cracks on those pipes as well, prompting the latest recommended modifications and a production-line cut-in in 2008.
The problem are traced to a combination of high vibrations and inadequate pipe support. The latest Airbus modification installs “two additional clamps to prevent cracks around the pyramid and fork-shaped parts of the pipe structure,” EASA explains in a mid-June safety information bulletin.
“To prevent pipe cracking due to engine vibrations, and to increase the reliability of the fire extinguishing system, EASA recommends the affected operators modify” their aircraft based on Airbus SB A320-26-1072, Rev. 2, issued on May 3.
While it is a concern, EASA says the risk presented by the issue does not warrant an airworthiness directive.