The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency advisory directive (AD) calling for visual inspection of the fan hubs on Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofans. The directive comes in reaction to the uncontained failure of a GP7200 on an Air France A380 during a scheduled flight on September 30 from Paris to Los Angeles.
The engine, whose front cowling and fan disc broke apart as the A380 flew over Greenland, had accumulated 3,527 cycles since new. The AD calls for inspection within two weeks for engines that had flown 3,500 cycles or more, five weeks for fan hubs with between 2,000 and 3,500 cycles and eight weeks for fan hubs with less than 2,000 cycles.
The AD affects 90 Engine Alliance-powered A380s operated by Emirates, 10 by Air France, 10 by Etihad Airways, 10 by Korean Air and eight by Qatar Airways.
The September 30 incident forced the crew of the Air France A380 divert to Goose Bay, Newfoundland, where they landed safety with 497 passengers on board. Search teams found pieces of the damaged engine in southern Greenland and investigators recovered more debris on the runway in Goose Bay.
The FAA said it considers the AD an interim measure because the investigation into the case of the failure continues.