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EFW on A321P2F safety of its conversion freighter after crack finding of Lufthansa Cargo

During a scheduled routine check, which includes the inspection of the aircraft structure to detect potential technical deviations, Lufthansa Cargo detected on 9th January 2024, a crack finding of a shear plate in the rear floor structure of an A321P2F. After the precaution inspection of the P2F fleet a second aircraft with a minor crack in similar area was found, the other two freighter of Lufthansa Cargo returned to service without any findings.

Lufthansa approached EFWs customer support for both aircraft, which are the first two A321P2F cases reported to EFW concerning such a finding.

EFW has analyzed the data and concludes that the damages do not lead to any unsafe condition for the P2F operation.

“Our aircraft are safe, there is currently no indication that the damage is related to the P2F modification,” states Jordi Boto, CEO of EFW. “The detailed loads analyses have meanwhile shown that the A321P2F certified mechanical loads are similar or even lower compared to the Passenger aircraft results.”

Additionally, it was checked on the effect of the ballast on the floor grid. In a result it does not induce significant loads to the affected fuselage structure and the stress levels are comparable to the A321 Passenger aircraft.

At this stage, there is no specific action required for operators.

Such kind of damages like in the Lufthansa Cargo aircraft are known by the OEM and are nothing unusual for mid age A321 aircraft. Accordingly, since years the OEM has standard repair schemes in place and such repairs are carried out as per Structural Repair Manual (SRM) as a routine. EFW instructed Lufthansa Cargo on the rectification as per SRM by replacement instructions for the concerned parts.

The standard repairs for Lufthansa Cargo aircraft will be completed within a few days. After completion of further scheduled maintenance tasks, which are not related to the crack findings, the aircraft can return to operation.

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