Printed headline: A Second Look
The FAA has published an emergency airworthiness directive requiring visual and eddy-current inspection of Engine Alliance Model GP7200-series engine fan hubs. The measure, which was also adopted by the European Aviation Safety Agency, required completion of inspections by July 2.
The directive was announced following issuance of a manufacturer service bulletin calling for additional checks of GP7270, GP7272 and GP7277 engine fan hub blade slot-bottom and blade slot front-edge cracks.
The rule is the latest regulatory activity following a Sept. 30, 2017, uncontained engine failure on an Airbus A380-800. French air accident investigation agency the BEA is conducting an inquiry into the probable cause of the Air France Flight 66 accident. The BEA has stated that the damage was confined to the No. 4 engine. A visual check suggested that a fan blade separated while in flight, taking with it the air inlet cowl.
This directive supersedes a November 2017 interim measure that required only visual inspections. In that rule, the agency referenced the ongoing investigation and stated it would consider additional requirements if further action was deemed necessary.