Engine safety inspection directive to affect Airbus A320 family

Both the European EASA and US FAA have issued emergency Airworthiness Directives ADs for operators of CFM56-5B engines, typically operated on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, which include the A318, A319, A320 and A321.

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EASA Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2008-228 and the FAA Airworthiness Directive AD 2009-01-01, requests operators of CFM56-5B engines, to monitor Exhaust Gas Temperatures (EGT) for deterioration. If both engines show deteriorations of 80 or more degrees, at least one engine must be replaced according to the new directive. EGT monitoring is a crucial aspect of flight operations.

The emergency directives come after an incident, in which an Airbus A321-200 experienced compressor stalls on both engines during initial climb out on December 15th 2008. While not disclosed, it is suspected, this is the incident involving Air France Airbus A321-200, F-GTAJ, flight AF 2585 from Tunis to Paris CDG, where the flight had to return to Tunis 14 minutes after take-off due to “unspecified engine problems”.

The CFM56-5B is a very popular engine with over 60% of Airbus A320 family operators, selecting them.

In India, Indian (now Air India) operates the CFM engine on the new series of Airbus aircraft, part of the 43 ordered by them in 2006. Indian had ordered 20 Airbus A321s, 19 Airbus A319s and four A320s. The older series of Indian’s A320 fleet use engines from IAE, as do most of India’s private operators, Kingfisher Airlines, Kingfisher Red, and IndiGo, which are not impacted by these ADs.

I must stress that there is no need for passengers to treat these ADs as negative, and Air India has an excellent maintenance record.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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