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Fri, Jan 02, 2015

FAA Proposes Airbus AD For Skin Debonding

Follows EASA AD For A330, A340 Aircraft

The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes.

This proposed AD was prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a composite side panel of a rudder installed on an A310 airplane. This proposed AD would require a review of the maintenance records of the rudder to determine if any composite side shell panel repair has been done; a thermography inspection limited to the repair areas or complete side shells, as applicable, to identify possible in-service rudder repairs, damages, or fluid ingress; and applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct the rudder skin disbonding, which could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, and could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

EASA issued Airworthiness Directive 2014-0033, dated February 4, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on the airplanes.

The MCAI was prompted by a case of skin disbonding was reported on a composite side panel of a rudder installed on an A310 aeroplane.

The investigation results revealed that this disbonding started from a skin panel area previously repaired in-service in accordance with the Structural Repair Manual (SRM).

The initial damage has been identified as a disbonding between the core and skin of the repaired area. This damage may not be visually detectable and likely propagates during normal operation due to the variation of pressure during ground-air-ground cycles.

Composite rudder side shell panels are also installed on A330 and A340 aeroplanes, which may have been repaired in-service using a similar method.

The proposed AD is open for comments until February 12, 2015.

FMI: Proposed AD

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