Following an incident with an Emirates Airbus A380 on November 9th last year, Europe’s safety authority (EASA) has proposed that checks should be carried out on the gravity extension system on all Airbus A380’s landing gear.
The Emirates flight was en route from London to Dubai with 345 passengers, when the crew received a hydraulic system overheat warning. In response, they isolated the green hydraulic system, meaning that the undercarriage had to be deployed using the backup procedure, free-fall gravity extension.
However, when the crew tried to deploy the landing gear, the left wing gear failed to extend properly and even though the gear doors had opened, it stayed up and locked. Although the crew declared an emergency, the aircraft touched down safely in Dubai using its remaining landing gear.
The incident prompted the United Arab Emirates Air Accident Investigation Sector (AAIS) to call for a mandatory A380 fleetwide inspection and Airbus subsequently issued an operator alert and developed a modification.
EASA are advising that aircraft which have not had this modification should have the gravity extension system on the wing landing gear tested, as well as repeatedly inspecting the wiring. Should the testing uncover any anomalies then their proposed airworthiness directive (AD) states the operator must carry out Airbus’s corrective measures before it goes back into service.