In an industry where safety is an absolute necessity, any defect can be devastating to an aircraft maker. The European company Airbus is learning that the hard way: small cracks on wing brackets of the A380 have angered operators, who have demanded compensation for the time their fleets have been grounded for repairs.As the FT reports, the cracked brackets are minor defects that both Emirates and Airbus say do not make planes unsafe to fly, although regulators disagree. But still, the defect has been found on ten A380s operated by Emirates, who has 69 more of the plane on order. All of Singapore Airlines’ ten A380s have similar cracks as well.Aircraft production relies on meticulous craftsmanship, and using shoddy brackets does not bode well with Airbus’ image, who has promised to service all 68 of its A380s currently in operation. Operators have lost revenue from the required maintenance groundings, but also stand to lose customers unsure of Airbus’ safety and quality standards.As Airbus stumbles and sales fall, Boeing stands to gain—and might find some fun in gloating. Not that Boeing is trouble-free. Delays in delivery of the Boeing Dreamliner have annoyed Air India, which wants up to $1 billion in compensation for the delays. The contest between the EU and American aerospace companies looks set to continue, with China and Brazil hoping one day to take more market share for themselves.Meanwhile, Boeing execs in Chicago celebrate Airbus’ latest woes, which could put Airbus further behind Boeing in orders and deliveries, and Boeing engineers hurriedly double check their work to make sure they aren’t susceptible to a similar slipup.Cosmopolitan citizens of the world though we are, we hope readers understand if Via Meadia quietly roots for the home team. Seattle, unlike Detroit, can still hold its own with the best the global competition has to offer. Go Boeing: design great planes, build great planes, sell great planes — and make great jobs.Watch the wings, though, guys; those things need to stay on.