SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates that a section of the wing and aft fuselage is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires an inspection to determine if certain modifications have been done. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products
This AD requires repetitive detailed inspections for damage on the fuselage skin at certain frames, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions.
In the last decade, most of the big U.S. airlines have shifted major maintenance work to places like El Salvador, Mexico, and China, where few mechanics are F.A.A. certified and inspections have no teeth.
BY JAMES B. STEELE
Not long ago I was waiting for a domestic flight in a departure lounge at one of the crumbling midcentury sheds that pass for an American airport these days. There were delays, as we’ve all come to expect, and then the delays turned into something more ominous. The airplane I was waiting for had a serious maintenance issue, beyond the ability of a man in an orange vest to address. The entire airplane would have to be taken away for servicing and another brought to the gate in its place. This would take a while. Those of us in the departure lounge settled in for what we suspected might be hours. From the window I watched the ground crew unload the bags from the original airplane. When the new one arrived, the crew pumped the fuel, loaded the bags, and stocked the galley. It was a scene I’d witnessed countless times. Soon we would board and be on the way to our destinations….Please read the article