In the wake of the recent in-flight engine explosion on an Air France jet, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an emergency inspection of the engines on some Airbus superjumbo jets to make sure this is not likely to happen again.
The FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive was [PDF] sent to those Airbus A380 owners and operators whose jets use one particular engine, the Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 turbofan.
The agency is ordering one-time visual inspections of the engines aimed at preventing failure of the fan hub, “which could lead to an uncontained release of the fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.”
If any damage or defects are found that are outside serviceable limits, engine owners will have to remove the fan hub and replace it.
In its directive, the FAA acknowledges that the measure was prompted by the uncontained engine failure on that Air France flight, which was bound for L.A. but ended up making an emergency landing in Newfoundland.
“We evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design,” the FAA notes.
This is considered an interim action, the agency notes, as an” investigation to determine the cause of the failure is on-going,” air it may consider additional rule making in the future.