MIAMI – The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) concerning all A320s being taken out of storage.
The reasons behind the issuance of the AD relate to discrepancies in speed indications that may result in unsafe flight conditions and aborted take-offs.
EASA makes reference in the AD to various documents, issued both by Airbus and EASA, which refer to the necessity to apply appropriate protection measures on aircraft being stored for short or long periods. The AD recommends Airbus procedures that aim to check Air Data Probes (Pitot Probes) before the aircraft returns to service.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has stated that, notwithstanding the measures mentioned above, an increasing number of airspeed discrepancies operational occurrences have been reported.
Technical checks on airspeed indication system have revealed that “consistent erroneous airspeed indications,” consisting of two or three Pitot probes giving different speed indications, may affect A320 family types response in particular during the rotation phase at takeoff.
This unsafe condition could result in an unstable flight path and possible reduced control on the aircraft. On this matter, Airbus has issued an AFM-TR (Aircraft Flight Manual-Temporary Revision) requesting an increased “air-speed check during takeoff and providing instructions to abort takeoff in case of unreliable airspeed indications.”
A Temporary Revision was applied to MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List) which requires that the Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS) airspeed indication must be fully operational.
At the same time, a RED OEB (Red Operations Engineering Bulletin) has been issued requiring reinforced speed-check instructions during takeoff. This interim AD may be followed by further action.
Featured image: Airbus 320 F-WWAI. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways