Grounded A380 Cleared to Fly
After being grounded for two days due to mechanical failure, China Southern Airlines first A380 was finally cleared for operations. China Southern grounded the super jumbo A380 because of mechanical problems that were found in the flap power drive, 12 days after it began its operations.
The flap power glitch was finally fixed Sunday night and the aircraft flew a scheduled flight from Beijing to Guangzhou. Since there were no spare parts available to fix the mechanical glitches, the aircraft’s manufacturer had to ship the parts needed to China.
Germany-based Liebherr Group said that usually the flap power drive units are so reliable that they don’t have any back up or spare parts in stock. That is why they had to send a new unit from Germany. They also said that is normal for an aircraft to have a few glitches after being put to operation.
Since its introduction in 2007, various carriers that have A380s in their line up have experienced minor glitches that temporarily grounded their aircrafts without causing any danger to passengers. The only major incident they encountered was an uncontained engine failure that forced a Qantas A380 to return to Singapore in November 2010.