The crack has been found on aircraft. Crack was detected by a special non-destructive eddy current inspection. This inspection which is carried out according to SB A320-53-1411 is periodically repeated in this area at several-year intervals and the inspection is included in every major aircraft maintenance check.


The 28 millimeters long crack stretched across the entire stiffener. Stiffener reinforces and ensures the stability of the front upper corner of the cockpit side window. This damage has been reported to Airbus with a request for repair instructions. Based on the extent of the damage (the crack was visible by the eye) and its dangerous position (it extended to the radius of the stiffener), Airbus ordered immediately to replace the window frame. The replacement of the window frame required extensive removal of the aircraft's cockpit, including avionics blocks. Several fuselage skin panels (almost 3.000 rivets and bolts) also had to be removed to provide enough space to remove the window frame out of the aircraft.


The replacement of the window frame itself took 3 weeks while working 24/7. During this time sheet metal workers removed damaged frame, prepared the new frame for installation and installed new frame into the aircraft. Disassembly and subsequent assembly of the cabin including tests of aircraft systems took another 2 weeks.


Replacement of the window frame required cooperation of NDT specialists, engineering, sheet metal workers and aircraft engineers.



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