JerseyFlyer wrote:Any ideas why some of QR's A350s are NOT showing this problem? Maybe too new?
I ask because QR is the only airline for which we know which aircraft are affected, and which are not, or not yet, because if affected QR would have visibly grounded them. In all other cases the issue seems to be being handled "under the radar" between airline and Airbus, so we have no idea how many are affected and what the characteristics of their affected frames are in terms of age, cycles, routes etc.
Qatar has 53 A350 aircraft, of which 22 are currently grounded. They are grounded as they develop signs the paint peeling issue has (or will) spread from fuselage to wing.
Five airlines total have also reported the paint peeling issue, but none other than Qatar has regarded it as an airworthiness issue.
According to Airbus, the Qatar problem is more severe because they did not follow Airbus guidelines for thickness of the paint applied. But EASA has agreed that it's still not an airworthiness issue.
Qatar has cited an earlier AD from EASA regarding inspection of embedded wing lightning protection mesh, for degradation which could be a safety of flight issue in detonating a fuel tank if struck by lightning. However the amount of exposure required is greater than has been observed on the Qatar aircraft.
So basically Qatar is saying that any exposure or degradation presents grounding justification, whereas Airbus and EASA are saying the total exposure needs to exceed a specific determined area before safety is compromised.
Thus Qatar grounds the aircraft as soon as they find the mesh exposed by peeling paint in a wing area, no matter the size. They claim that exposure will soon lead to degradation and the risk is too great. They also claim that this is a manufacturing defect, and not a surface wear issue.