Directive issued for potentially explosive Airbus A350 fault

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.
A350-1000 F-WWXL at Cardiff Airport (Image: Nick Harding/The Aviation Media Agency.)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency directive regarding a potentially explosive Airbus A350 fault.

The directive, Number 2017-0154-E, relates to the hydraulic fuel cooling system which is located in the fuel tanks.

A350-1000 Wing Production
A350-1000 Wing Production

It has been found that there is an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic pumps that could lead to a rapid rise in fluid temperature.

The directive says that if this temperature rise was undetected it “could lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the affected fuel tank.” if combined with an inoperative fuel tank inerting system (FTIS).

Airbus has issued an immediate software fix for the issue which makes the fault a No-Go item on the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL). This means that if the fault is detected the aircraft will not operate the flight.

The Airbus A350, whose wings are made in North Wales, is Airbus’ latest aircraft and made its first flight in 2013. It is a long range, twin engine jet made primarily from Carbon-Fibre. It was built to replace the Airbus A340 and compete with Boeings 787 and 777 models.

Emergency Directives require operators to apply the fixes or recommendations before the next flight of the type following the issue date.

About Lisa Parkes 148 Articles
Lisa is an aviation and engineering journalist who has written for several headline news outlets. Originally from the US, she now calls Swansea her home and keeps a keen eye on the growing aviation industry in Wales.

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