The European Aviation Safety Agency is calling on operators of Airbus A320 family aircraft to address issues related to problems with the cargo loading system and cracking fuselage nuts.
A May 5 airworthiness directive (AD) addresses a previously identified problem with tie down points of YZ latches on the cargo loading system of A319s, A320s and A321s, which do not withstand maximum loading requirements leading to potential damage in the forward and aft lower deck cargo holds. EASA says the rectifying action, called for in 2006, has not been properly installed across the fleet.
The safety agency warns that it recently realized that on some aircraft the fix “has been applied only on one of the lower deck cargo holds (fwd or aft) while both cargo compartments were concerned by the modification.”
The second AD, issued May 4, warns that parts inspection during production showed some nuts used on the fuselage of A318, A319, A320, and A321s showed cracks. “A large number of these nuts are fitted on primary structural elements, which could have long-term consequences,” EASA says, while noting that no immediate action to address the issue is necessary.
EASA is therefore calling “a detailed inspection of the affected nuts, associated correction actions, depending on findings, and replacement of the affected [part number] nuts with new ones having the same [part number].”
Operators are supposed to inspect the affected parts for aircraft flying six years or more and, within 90 days, report those findings to Airbus.