The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued four proposed airworthiness directives (PAD) March 20-21 for the Airbus A320 family.
According to Aviation Week’s Fleet Discovery, there are about 2,000 aircraft owned and leased by European operators. The top five operators are EasyJet, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and Vueling Airlines. This excludes Turkish Airlines because Turkey is defined under the Middle East Region in this database.
EASA issued PAD 17-034 due to cracks found on the aircraft body at frame 36 during center fuselage certificate full-scale fatigue tests. The cracks can lead to crack propagation and deterioration of the structural integrity of the airplane.
The cracking issue has been addressed since 1997 by Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1016 and DGAC France AD 97-311-105. This PAD provides updated special inspection requirements. Consultation will close on Apr. 17.
EASA issued PAD 17-035 to address fatigue cracks in the potable water and waste water service panel areas of most A320 models, excluding those with modification 160055/160056. This PAD still retains the original AD 2014-0081 requirements and introduces additional required actions. Consultation closes Apr. 17.
PAD 17-036 addresses broken or cracked aft engine mount inner retainers, on aircraft powered by CFM56-A or -B engines. EASA determined that the broken retainers were caused by vibration dynamic effect that impacts the retainers. If not corrected, there could be an “inflight loss of an aft mount link,” which could cause possible damage to aircraft or persons on ground. The PAD retains the requirements of AD 2016-0010R1 and outlines additional required actions and compliance times. Consultation closes Apr. 18.
Lastly, EASA issued PAD 17-038-CN to propose the cancelation of AD 2015-0234 from December 2015. The original AD affected a variety of A320s and addressed specific tie-rod assemblies installed on the main landing gear hinged airing assembly.
Originally, it was thought the cadmium plating surface treatment was not included on the rod end threads, which resulted in the reduction of the corrosion protection scheme. The tie rod assembly manufacturer determined that the assemblies do not need the surface treatment and does not propose an unsafe condition. Consultation closes Apr. 18.