Investigators investigating an engine explosion on an Air France A380 in 2017 are investigating a possible manufacturing defect in a broken part recently recovered in a move that could trigger urgent checks on dozens of Airbus superjumbos, people said who are familiar with the issue.
Watch out for a two-year mid-air explosion survey on Greenland, which left the plane carrying more than 500 passengers with the front of a missing engine. , has passed to the "hub of the fan" recently recovered, "said the people.
The titanium alloy part is the centerpiece of a 3-meter wide fan on engines built for the largest airliner in the world by the Engine Alliance, based in the United States, owned by Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and United Technologies.
He had been buried in the Greenland ice sheet since September 2017 when one of the four engines of the Air France flight 66 disintegrated abruptly on the journey from Paris to Los Angeles. It was appreciated by the ice in June after a high-tech airborne radar search.
Confirming the focus of the probe after Reuters reported plans for inspections, the French agency BEA for aircraft accidents said it had discovered a "ground fatigue crack" on the recovered part and that the engine manufacturer was preparing the controls.
People familiar with the issue have linked the crack to a suspected manufacturing defect and stated that the controls – to be carried out urgently on engines that have carried out a number of flights – would have affected dozens of double-decker jets.
People said the suspect part was manufactured on behalf of consortium member Pratt & Whitney, who declined to comment.
Engine Alliance is one of two suppliers of engines for the Airbus A380 in competition with the British Rolls-Royce.
Its engines power a total of 152 aircraft or just over 60% of the 237 A380s in service.
In addition to Air France, other airlines that operate the A380 with Engine Alliance power plants include Dubai Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad based in Abu Dhabi and Korean Air.
The checks will result in the decommissioning of some aircraft outside normal maintenance programs, a source said.
The investigations are not complete and will probably address other features such as the loads or physical forces involved. Experts say that aircraft accidents are rarely caused by isolated factors.
The European Airbus declined to comment.
SIOUX CITY REMEMBERED
No one was injured in the accident in September 2017, when the Air France superjumbo was safely diverted to Goose Bay in Canada.
Although rare and limited engine failures, in which splinters capable of piercing the fuselage leave an engine at extremely high speeds, automatically generate the alarm.
Checks arrive weeks after relatives have marked 30 years since an engine failure left a United Airlines DC-10 almost without control, culminating in the death of 111 of the 296 people on board during an attempted landing in Sioux City , Iowa.
US investigators have cited a defective titanium alloy part and weak inspection procedures, although they also praised the "highly commendable" performance of the flight 232 crew.
The July 1989 incident accelerated improvements in production methods for titanium alloy. Experts say that hidden internal defects in these parts are unusual but remain difficult to detect.
Titanium alloy is widely used in the aerospace industry, which is the largest customer of the metal due to its resistance to the weight of each part and its ability to handle high temperatures.