21 Jan 2012

Airbus A380s being checked for cracks

12:54 pm on 21 January 2012

European safety authorities have ordered urgent inspections on a third of the Airbus A380 fleet after the discovery of cracks in the wings of some of the jets.

The European Aviation Safety Agency says 20 planes will undergo a visual inspection for cracks, the ABC reports.

None of the superjumbos have been grounded but those subjected to at least 1,800 take-offs and landings that impose the most strain on an airframe must be examined within four days.

The European Aviation Safety Agency acted after European planemaker Airbus disclosed two sets of cracks on its A380s just two weeks apart, and barely four years after the 525-seat double-decker passenger jet entered service.

Authorities say the latest cracks are more significant than those found earlier and could develop on other jets if the problem isn't addressed.

Qantas says none of the A380s in its fleet require immediate inspections and it will comply with the safety instructions and schedule inspections once its A380s have completed 1300.