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Aviation agency orders Airbus A350 safety fix

August 24, 2017

A European safety agency has issued a safety warning concerning Airbus's A350-941 passenger planes. A software update is to prevent potential engine explosions caused by hydraulic pump overheating.

Airbus A350-900
Image: Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an air worthiness directive, warning that a problem could lead to engine explosions under certain conditions, if not corrected.

The Cologne-based safety agency said the problem affected Airbus's A350-941 planes and involved the hydraulic fluid cooling system in the fuel tanks.

EASA said a failure discovered in a hydraulic pump near the fuel tanks could cause a quick rise in temperature.

Fix being tested

"If not corrected, the condition can lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in the ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the tank," EASA warned.

Germany's flagship carrier, Lufthansa, reported Wednesday it had taken precautionary measures to prevent that from happening, adding its four A350 aircraft were being closely monitored.

A planned software update for the pump was being thoroughly tested, the airline said, adding it would be installed shortly at the carriers using the affected planes.

Airbus noted the software update would do the trick for the moment, mentioning that the company was mulling a design change for the pump long-term.

The A350 family has been competing with Boeing's 737 Dreamliner. So far, Airbus has delivered some 100 aircraft of the A350-900 model.

hg/tr (AP, dpa)