Airlines urged to tighten Airbus A320 checks after COVID storage.

Regulators have called for more rigorous checks when pulling some Airbus jets out of pandemic storage, following flawed cockpit readings that can suggest blocked sensors.

See also: Cathay working with Airbus on single-pilot system for long-haul.

Pilots rely on airspeed readings derived from external probes known as pitot tubes, which can become blocked by insect nests or dirt if they are not properly sealed during storage.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in a safety directive covering the Airbus A320 family that “an increasing number of operational disruptions have been reported due to airspeed discrepancies” as they return to the air, Reuters reported.

See also: Airbus has no plans to build bigger single-aisle jet.

Those reports prompted Airbus to carry out further computer simulations which suggested that problems with two out of three sensors may affect the plane’s stability during take-off, though none of these events happened in operations, EASA said.

An Airbus spokesman said these actions were precautionary.

EASA first reported an “alarming” rise last August in the general number of cases of unreliable cockpit indications during the first flight of jets leaving storage. It called on operators of all makes and models of passenger aircraft to be vigilant.

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