Navigation Menu

Airbus Comms – Pylon Drains

From: IMPEY, Jason []
Sent: 26 August 2014 13:07
Subject: A320 Pylon Drains

Dear Mr Simpson – in response to your recent query on pylon drain pipes please see below the following information.

Specification and design of our aircraft comply with certification requirements and safety practices to ensure that any potential draining need, linked or not to failure cases, will be adequately performed. As such, Airbus A320 family aircraft have a fuel drain mast fitted as standard in the lower parts of the nacelle (and none for the pylons).  It is an airworthiness requirement that any fuel leak must not pool within the aircraft structure to create a fire risk, must be drained away from the aircraft structure, and must be able to be visibly identified during the preflight safety walkaround checks. The nacelle fuel drain mast only serves to identify the very rare occasion of a failure where a fuel leak has occurred and, in the case of such detected failure, then the aircraft would be repaired before its next flight. The mast has no spraying capability, and is only used to drain aviation fuel, in the very rare case of a fuel leak.


Jason Impey

Airbus Communications


Wed 27/08/2014 10:56

Jason thank you kindly for your response. Could you please clarify though, what the nacelle is and where exactly it is located? A google search did not reveal anything that clarified this.

Am I correct in concluding from your reply, that the pylons of Airbus A230 family or A380 do not contain any drain pipes or pipes of any kind?

If you could provide copies of any diagrams of the pylon that would be very helpful so we can finally close this matter. I have attached an image of the pipes I am referring to which have been spotted on Easyjet planes by us and others in the last year. We are very concerned obviously, as to the purpose of these pipes. They are very clearly not original, as can be seen from the welding, riveting and different metal used.

Are there any active systems in the pylon at all? As we understand it, the pylon contains only transient pipes and cables, but no systems that require drainage.

Your help is much appreciated in this important matter.

Many thanks.

Ian Simpson


Wed 27/08/2014 12:04


Further to my previous email earlier today, I would like to explain that we will eventually be relying on this information in a court of law so it needs to be watertight, so anything you can provide to us that makes the information incontrovertible will be very helpful.

I’m sure you understand, and thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Ian Simpson


Wed 27/08/2014 15:14

Jason sorry to trouble you further but I would be grateful if you would confirm, in light of our recent communications, if the image, supposedly taken from an official Airbus A320 family training manual, is genuine. We believe this image to have been altered so as to suggest the presence of drainage systems within the pylon of these aircraft.

I look forward to your response,

Ian Simpson





Thu 28/08/2014 10:15

This was bounced due to file size so I had to remove the full pdf. Document but a screenshot of the relevant page is attached.

Ian Simpson

Attachemnts: Metapylon.jpg (as above)


Mon 01/09/2014 16:26

Dear Mr Simpson,

Following your further enquiries to my colleague Jason Impey, we would not wish to add anything to the statement provided below.

You may be able to obtain independently verified information from an organisation such as the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Yours sincerely

Robert Gage

Robert GAGE

AIRBUS Communications

Airbus Operations Ltd

+14C Pegasus House, Aerospace Avenue, Filton, Bristol BS99 7AR

+Chester Road, Broughton CH4 0DR



Mon 01/09/2014 18:36

Mr Gage,

I am very disappointed and somewhat confused by your response. I cannot understand why you should not want to provide me with further evidence that these pipes are not original to Airbus A320. Ultimately, we should be able to obtain this information with a court order, so I am perplexed by your reluctance to provide it and force us to go down this route.

I will consult with my solicitors and let you know our intentions at the earliest opportunity.

If, in the mean time, you should decide that you are in a position to provide me with any further information in respect of this enquiry please let me know,


Ian Simpson


This comms record is also shown in screenshots below.