The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 1,203 Airbus A320 family aircraft with United States registration.

This AD concerns te following planes:

  • A318-111, -112, -121 and -122
  • A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132 and -133
  • A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232 and -233
  • A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231 and -232
FAA Issues Airworthiness Directive For 1,200 Airbus A320 Family
Lufthansa A320-214

According to the FAA, this AD was prompted after reports of fatigue cracks on continuity fittings at the lower framing of the front windshield on airplanes that had a certain production modification.

Further analysis has shown that certain certification requirements, for damage tolerance and fatigue, have not been met on airplanes in a certain post-production modification configuration.

“The FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which could lead to the failure of the continuity fittings at the lower node of the windshield central frame, possibly resulting in decompression of the airplane and injury to occupants.”

Required Actions

In order to address this issue, this AD requires repetitive High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections of the central node windshield area for cracking. If the operator finds cracking, he must apply corrective actions as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD.

To comply with these actions the FAA estimates that it will take around 19 work-hours at a cost of $85 per hour, each aircraft will cost approximately $1,615 to rectify.

“The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition modifications.”

If cracking is found an on-condition modification must be done and the cost value increases. The FAA is currently estimating 1,100+ work-hours, at $85 per hour, and a parts cost of somewhere around $315,000; this would mean that the repair costs could easily exceed $400,000. However the FAA has explained that they have not yet received any definitive data, so they are unable to provide exact cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD.