Swissair111.org    forums.swissair111.org    Discussion  Hop To Forum Categories  This and That    Qantas Airways Grounding Six Airbus A380s

Moderators: BF, Mark Fetherolf
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Qantas Airways Grounding Six Airbus A380s
 Login/Join
 
posted
By ENDA CURRAN and CYNTHIA KOONS
SYDNEY—Qantas Airways Ltd. CEO Alan Joyce said the airline would ground its six Airbus A380 super-jumbo jets after a mid-air engine failure Thursday.

"We will suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met,'' he told a news conference in Sydney.

The engine failure on Sydney-bound flight QF32, carrying 433 passengers and 26 crew, forced a return to Singapore for an emergency landing. According to a representative for the airline, the engine, made by Rolls-Royce Group PLC, was shut down after developing a technical problem.



."All passengers are off safely," the representative said, adding that there were no injuries.

A Singapore airport official told Dow Jones Newswires the passengers had been taken into the terminal.

"There was no panic of any kind," she said. "They were very calm." Arrangements were being made for their departure to Sydney on another plane.

A spokesman for Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., said the group will "work closely" with Qantas to determine the cause of the incident.

Qantas is a major customer for the four-engine, 450-passenger-capacity A380, which Airbus hopes will transform the commercial-plane industry and give it an advantage over rival Boeing Co., whose 747 first flew more than 40 years ago. The A380 is also operated by Singapore Airlines Ltd., Emirates, Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

This wasn't the first midair emergency caused by engine problems on an A380, though it was the first to result in pieces of the engine breaking off. In August, pilots of a Lufthansa A380 flying from Tokyo to Frankfurt shut down one engine after sensors indicated an an oil-pressure problem. The plane landed safely in Frankfurt. In Sept. 2009, a Singapore Airlines A380 traveling from Paris to Singapore suffered an engine problem, returned to Paris and landed without injuries.

Like other jet engines, the Rolls-Royce Trent engines used on A380s have been subject to certain maintenance directives issued by European and U.S. regulators intended to prevent in-flight problems or failures.

"We will work with Qantas to identify what the problem is," a spokesman for the U.K.-based engine maker told Dow Jones Newswires.

Singapore Airlines, the only other airline to use the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, has them on its 11 A380s and has no plans to ground the fleet, a spokeswoman said.

"Operations are continuing as normal," she said. "It is premature at this point to speculate and we will await advice from the aircraft and engine manufacturers as the investigation progresses."

The incident could be a fresh black eye for Rolls-Royce, which for months has been in disputes with Boeing over problems developing new engines for the highly efficient new 787 Dreamliner. Rolls-Royce has faced several technical problems with the 787 engines, contributing to new questions about Boeing's ability to stay on schedule with the delay-plagued project.

The Airbus spokesman said, "We have technicians in Singapore who will work with Rolls-Royce to look at the problem."


.Airbus has 234 orders for the A380, according to Airbus website. Qantas has taken delivery of six Airbus A380-800 aircraft, according to the carrier's website. It operates the plane on scheduled services to Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Singapore and London.

Qantas shares, which were trading as high as A$2.97 (US$2.99) before news of the accident, fell to A$2.82 before regaining some ground as details emerged of a safe landing. They ended Thursday at A$2.89, up 0.7%.

—Andy Pasztor in Milan and Daniel Michaels in Berlin contributed to this article.


http://online.wsj.com/article/..._hp_MIDDLETopStories
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
(CNN) -- Qantas Airways' fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft will remain grounded indefinitely after new problems with the planes' engines were uncovered over the weekend, the Australian airline's CEO said Monday.

The fleet was grounded Thursday after one of four engines on one of the airliner's A380s failed in mid-flight, forcing an emergency landing.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Friday that he hoped to have the fleet up in the air within 48 hours after completing engine safety checks, but backed away from that statement Monday, telling Australian Broadcasting Corp., "We did find some issues that we are investigating further."

"Hopefully over the next day or so we will have an understanding of when the aircraft can get back in the air," he added. "Our top priority is making sure that we have the continued safe operation of the aircraft and if this takes a bit longer, it will take longer."


Thursday's incident began shortly after takeoff when the flight carrying 440 passengers and 26 crew members to Sydney, Australia, was forced to return to Singapore's Changi Airport. While above the western Indonesian island of Batam, part of the engine's covering, or cowling, tore off.

On Friday, Joyce described the incident as an "engine issue" rather than an incident caused by poor maintenance.

He elaborated in his radio interview Monday, saying that on three of the fleet's Rolls-Royce engines "what we found is slight anomalies, oil where it shouldn't be on the engines. And we are just trying to check what could the cause of that be."

"These are new engines on new aircraft and they shouldn't have these issues at this stage and so it has given us an indication of an area for us to focus into," he said.

Rolls-Royce said in a statement last week that it has been working closely with Qantas and air safety authorities "to collect and understand information relating to the event and to determine suitable actions."

Qantas has six A380s -- the world's largest airliners -- in its fleet of 191 planes. Airbus will at some point deliver 14 more, the airline said.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/...f=mrss_igoogle_world
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Three months before a superjumbo jet engine blew apart and forced an emergency landing, European safety regulators had relaxed their inspection order for the same section of the engine implicated in the dangerous mishap.

In January, the European Aviation Safety Agency required airlines to inspect for wear on the shaft that holds one of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine's turbine discs. The more wear they found, the sooner future inspections would be required.

In August, after Rolls-Royce had inspected several engines, EASA revised its directive. Previously, airlines had to calculate how worn out the part was based on the worst spot. Under the revised directive they calculate the average wear over the entire part.

And previously they had to assume the part was wearing out at a worst-case rate. The new rule allows them to calculate the wear rate on each engine. That meant less frequent inspections, which the revised directive said were "sufficient to prevent unacceptable wear."

The European directives warned of the potential for "in-flight shut down, oil migration and oil fire." The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration went further in adopting a version of the European directive in September, warning of an "uncontained failure of the engine, and damage to the airplane."

Some of the parts inside jet engines rotate faster than the speed of sound. Engines are designed so that even if part of one shatters, pieces of metal aren't sent rocketing away from the engine. An "uncontained engine failure" with shrapnel-like engine pieces that can damage other parts of the plane is both rare and extremely dangerous.

That's what happened Nov. 4. Investigators have said that leaking oil caused a fire in the engine of a Qantas A380 that heated metal parts and made the motor disintegrate over Indonesia last week before the jetliner returned safely to Singapore. Experts say the mishap damaged vital systems on the plane, which had been bound for Sydney.

The safety order wasn't addressing the exact same problem that caused the Qantas engine to disintegrate, but is very similar and involved a turbine next to the one that broke apart, said Chuck Eastlake, a former professor of aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The decision to relax the EASA order was likely based on inspections that gave engineers confidence that the wear on parts that could cause an oil leak was predictable enough to allow more time to elapse, Eastlake said. In hindsight that appears not to have been the case, he said.

"That kind of stuff is always a judgment call based on experience," Eastlake said. "It's hard to specifically justify a decision like that because it isn't a matter of plugging numbers into a calculator and out comes an answer."

John Cox, an aviation safety consultant and former airline pilot, said it's a question of balancing "what is reasonable to ask the airlines to do against safety."

"The problem is we had a catastrophic failure. It turned out that apparently at least one engine had substantial wear that inspections didn't pick up," he said in a telephone interview from London.

No one from EASA was available to talk about the directive late Friday.

The agency usually takes the lead in issuing safety orders involving aircraft, engines and other equipment made by European manufacturers, just as the FAA does in cases that involve U.S. manufacturers.

Qantas spokesman Tom Woodward said Qantas has complied with all safety orders.

Rolls-Royce Group PLC said in an update to investors Friday that the Qantas engine incident last week was due to failure in a specific component that caused an engine fire and "the release of the intermediate pressure turbine disc." The company will be replacing the relevant part "according to an agreed program" as inspections on the engine continue in association with aviation regulators, it said. The company did not provide details.

The disc, a plate that holds the turbine blades that move air through the motor, broke apart in last week's mishap.

Three airlines -- Qantas, Singapore and Lufthansa -- fly the 20 A380s that use Trent 900 engines. Qantas and Singapore have grounded several of those after each found oil leaks on three engines.

Lufthansa spokesman Thomas Jachnow said the German airline has been told "that Rolls-Royce will gradually replace a modular part of the engine on all Trent 900 engines." He added that the "exact parts to be replaced haven't been finalized yet."

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said Saturday that he was pleased with the progress of the Rolls-Royce investigation into the cause of the engine failure. But he would not give a timeline on when Qantas' six A380s, grounded since the Nov. 4 failure, would be back in the air.

Joyce said Rolls-Royce's preliminary findings backed Qantas's initial investigations.

"They have identified that they believe, what we have said previously, that the cause of this was an oil fire in the turbine area of the engine and that caused the uncontained failure of the engine," he told reporters in Melbourne, on the sidelines of celebrations marking the airline's 90th anniversary on Nov. 16.

"We will be working very closely with them to get the aircraft back in the air as soon as we can. There is no timeframe on when that will occur," he added.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy told reporters in Sydney that new versions of the Trent 900 engine that powers the Airbus A380 superjumbo will not suffer from the oil leaks that appear to have caused the fire on the Qantas flight. He said Rolls-Royce was equipping Trent 900s with software that would shut down a motor with leaking oil before it was put at risk of disintegration.

Airbus said it planned to take newer versions of the Trent engine off its A380 production line and ship them to Qantas so that the airline could change the engines on some of its superjumbos.

"We think the engines on the production line will be fine," The Age newspaper of Melbourne, Australia, quoted Leahy as saying. "The new engines should not have that issue ... in terms of this one part that seems to have had a problem with leaking oil."

The Herald Sun of Melbourne reported that Leahy said Rolls-Royce had made changes to some versions of engine to prevent such problems before the Nov. 4 mishap, but Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon denied the report. He said Leahy was referring to changes to the engines being made in light of the mishap.

Leahy, when asked whether he was suggesting that Rolls-Royce knew about problems with the engines before the Qantas incident, said, "Absolutely not," according to Dubon.

Dubon would not comment on whether changes had been made before the Qantas engine disintegrated, or whether the software Leahy described would be installed on engines already in service, referring those questions to Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce and the EASA declined repeated requests to comment about Leahy's remarks.

A mechanic who works for an airline that uses the engine told The Associated Press, however, that Rolls-Royce made modifications to the oil lubrication system on Trent 900s delivered starting in the second half of 2009. The mechanic spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the media.

The Qantas flight on which the engine blew apart came into service in 2007.

Before last week's disintegration there were four malfunctions involving Trent 900 engines dating to 2008, three of which centered on the turbines or oil system. All the planes landed safely.

Two of the malfunctions led to EASA warnings, including the directive issued in January and revised in August.

There are three turbines in the Trent 900 engine. The EASA order said wear had been found on parts in the intermediate turbine that could cause an oil leak. The order warned that oil leaking from the intermediate turbine could cause a fire under the adjacent lower turbine, causing the disc in that turbine to fail. Instead, there was an oil fire in the Qantas plane, but it was the intermediate turbine disc that failed. The two turbines are just a few inches apart, said Eastlake, the former aerospace engineering professor.

London-based Rolls-Royce said in an update to investors Friday that the incident will cause full-year profit growth "to be slightly lower than previously guided," but it also said that the company's other operations will help to offset any losses.

Shares in the company rose after the update -- a signal that investors are happy to see a definitive statement after days of silence from the world's second-biggest engine maker behind General Electric.

Lowy reported from Washington. AP Aviation Writer Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Associated Press writer Michael Weissenstein in London contributed to this report.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...-1574187855.html?x=0
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
LONDON (AP) -- Rolls-Royce will temporarily replace entire engines suffering from oil leaks on the world's largest jetliner after one motor suffered a frightening midair disintegration, an aviation regulator told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official said the British engine-maker would take off faulty engines and replace them with new ones. It will then fix the leaking part and swap the engine back again.

The official, who has been briefed by Rolls-Royce and some of the affected airlines, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Rolls-Royce declined to comment.

Leaking oil caught fire on Nov. 4 in one of the Qantas A380's four massive Trent 900 engines, heating metal parts and causing the motor's disintegration over Indonesia before the jetliner returned safely to Singapore. Experts say chunks of flying metal damaged vital systems in the wing of the Sydney-bound plane, causing the pilots to lose control of the second engine and half of the brake flaps on the damaged wing in a situation far more serious than originally portrayed by the airline.

Qantas grounded its six A380s within hours and said four days later that checks had revealed suspicious oil leaks in three engines on three different grounded A380s.

Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, which both use A380s with Trent 900 engines, have conducted checks on their superjumbos and all but one have returned to service, the airlines say.

Qantas' six superjumbos -- the backbone of its longest and most lucrative international routes between Australia and Los Angeles, Singapore and London -- remain grounded despite what experts say is financial pressure to fly them again. The removal of engines can be expected to cause longer delays and potential revenue losses.

"We are taking our normal and extremely conservative approach to safety and will not operate our A380 fleet until we are completely confident that it is safe to do so," Qantas spokesman Simon Rushton said.

It was not immediately clear what effect the replacement program would have on airlines expecting deliveries of new A380s, although Airbus said last week that the Trent 900 problems could be expected to delay deliveries.

Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon directed questions to Rolls Royce and said, "We're helping with the investigation in order to minimize disruption to customers."

Qantas was still hopeful of returning the A380s to service "in days, not weeks," Rushton said.

Britain's Rolls-Royce Group PLC, the world's second-largest engine maker, said Friday that it would be replacing an unspecified module, or collection of linked parts, on the Trent 900. Airbus said Rolls-Royce would also be equipping the engines with software to shut them down before an oil leak could cause an engine to disintegrate.

Rushton said three engines had been removed from Qantas A380s as part of a detailed inspection program ordered by Europe's air safety regulator and recommendations by Rolls-Royce.

Singapore Airlines, which grounded three of its 11 A380s after checks found oil leaks in three Trent 900s, said Monday that two were back in service after engine changes and that work was continuing on the third.

"We can't speak definitively about the number of engines that may ultimately require modification work as it needs to be stressed that investigations are continuing," Singapore Airlines spokesman Nicholas Ionides said.

Lufthansa declined immediate comment.

Julia Zappei in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Angela Doland in Paris contributed to this report.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...f-442556618.html?x=0

______________

If this had been swissair's approach to safety, the country would still have their own airline, and my daughter and all the other passengers would be alive today.
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Airlines: Rolls modified engine before blowout
Airlines give strongest sign yet that Rolls-Royce knew of engine fault before 1 blew out


David Rising and Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press, On Thursday November 18, 2010, 6:26 pm
BERLIN (AP) -- Rolls-Royce modified a problematic section on new models of its engine for the world's largest jetliner months before one caught fire and blew apart over Indonesia, a Lufthansa spokesman said Thursday.

The chief executive of Qantas, meanwhile, said Rolls-Royce had made modifications to the Trent 900 engine without telling the airline or Airbus, which makes the A380 superjumbo.

The officials' remarks were the strongest indication yet that Rolls-Royce had addressed a defect in new models of the engine while allowing Airbus A380 superjumbos to continue flying with unmodified older models.

Lufthansa's first A380, delivered by Airbus on May 19, had three newer versions of the Trent 900 engine and one older version, airline spokesman Thomas Jachnow said.

"When we got our first aircraft it was curious that one was from an older one and three were totally new from the production line," Jachnow said. "I think this is more or less the cusp where the old to new happened."

Engine modifications are common in the industry, and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said it "doesn't look like" the changes made to the Trent 900 were significant. But he added that to make that determination it's important to know why the changes were made.

"If this was significant, and was known to be significant, we would have liked to have known about that," Joyce said. "We and Airbus weren't aware of it."

Airbus declined to say whether it was aware of earlier changes by Rolls-Royce, but like Qantas it indicated it would be seeking compensation from the London-based engine maker for the problems with the Trent 900.

Rolls-Royce declined repeated requests to comment on what it knew about the specific defect before the Nov. 4 accident, which sent metal rocketing into the wing of a Qantas plane as it flew over Indonesia. The disintegrating engine damaged one of the beams that attaches the wing to the plane, cutting control lines, piercing fuel tanks and setting off a cascading series of critical system failures.

Europe's air-safety regulator said on Nov. 10 that airlines should inspect several parts around one of the Trent 900's turbines in order to prevent the type of oil leak and fire that broke out on the Qantas flight. Rolls-Royce said Nov. 12 that it will be changing a module, or sections of linked parts, on the Trent 900.

Jachnow, of Lufthansa, said the module that needs replacing was found in only one of the German airline's engines, and that all the others had been delivered with the newer module.

He added that Lufthansa has had no difficulties with any of its A380 engines and that the one with the older module is still in service, though it will be swapped out when Rolls-Royce delivers a replacement.

Joyce told reporters Qantas may have to replace 14 of its Trent 900 engines, each of which is worth about $10 million. Worldwide, 80 Trent 900s power 20 A380s flown by three airlines, and Joyce said as many as half of those engines may need to be replaced.

Rolls-Royce has indicated that the number of engines that needed to be replaced was "40 engines worldwide," Joyce said. An Airbus spokesman said he could not confirm that figure.

Rolls-Royce stock was up 0.7 percent at 6.03 pence ($9.67) on the London Stock Exchange, a sign that investors were happy to have some clarity.

Lufthansa flies three A380s with Trent 900 engines, and Singapore Airlines flies 11 of the four-engine superjumbos. Singapore Airlines declined to comment on whether it may have to change as many as 25 engines.

Other airlines' A380s use a U.S. conglomerate's engine.

Joyce said Rolls-Royce had ordered modifications on parts of the Trent 900 engines and indicated it had done so before the Nov. 4 incident. "Rolls Royce have gone and modified certain parts of this engine ... and aircraft manufacturers and engine manufacturers will do that," he said.

A European air-safety official said last week that Rolls-Royce would be providing new engines to airlines as temporary replacements for ones that need modification. Airlines typically keep some spares, and Airbus has also raised the prospect of using engines meant for new planes as temporary replacements.

The sudden need for dozens of new engines, even temporarily, could cause delays in deliveries of new A380s. Analysts, however, said that delays would probably not be severe.

Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said next year's schedule for A380 deliveries depended on the Rolls-Royce situation.

"We expect to have a much better idea in the next 3 to 4 weeks," Dubon said.

Sandy Morris, aerospace analyst at RBS Securities in London, said Airbus told investors last week that some jets due to be delivered in the first half of next year might be delivered in the second half.

Dubon declined to say if or when A380s had begun to be outfitted with a new model of Trent 900 engines.

"As with any other manufacturer, they continually update the build standards," Dubon said of Rolls-Royce.

Weissenstein reported from London. Rohan Sullivan in Sydney, Greg Keller in Paris and Jane Wardell in London contributed to this report.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...-2685403032.html?x=0
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
SYDNEY (AP) -- The first sign something had gone very wrong came in the form of two loud bangs. A chunk of metal tore through the plane's wing, the aircraft yawed and a flood of emergency warning messages in the cockpit of the Qantas superjumbo sent the crew scrambling into action.

A preliminary report released Friday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau laid out the first official, detailed account of what happened after the mid-air disintegration of a Rolls-Royce engine on the Qantas A380 shortly after takeoff from Singapore on Nov. 4.

The report confirmed earlier suggestions that an oil leak was the likely culprit of the blowout in what was the most significant safety issue for the world's newest and largest jetliner. It also showed the dire conditions the pilots faced as they maneuvered the battered plane toward the ground for an emergency landing that could have ended in disaster.

"The aircraft would not have arrived safely in Singapore without the focus and effective action of the flight crew," ATSB's chief commissioner Martin Dolan said.

The bureau said a suspected manufacturing defect with an oil pipe deep within one of the plane's four Trent 900 engines may have led to an oil leak in an extremely hot part of the engine. That could have sparked a fire that caused a disintegration of one of the engine's giant turbine discs. Pieces of the disc shot through a wing, severing electronics and causing an avalanche of problems for the five experienced pilots on board.

The Australian agency, which is leading the international investigation into the Qantas engine breakup, recommended new safety checks for A380s using the Trent 900s. Twenty A380s are powered by those engines for three airlines -- Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa.

Qantas, which grounded its six A380s for 19 days after the blowout, said Friday it completed the new checks on one of the two A380s it returned to service and found no problems. The others are still undergoing tests. Singapore Airlines, which has 11 A380s, also said it was conducting new checks on its engines.

According to the bureau's report, the Qantas flight took off normally. At about 7,000 feet (2,100 meters), the crew heard two loud, almost simultaneous bangs. The plane yawed slightly before leveling off again. Inside the cabin, several passengers looking out their windows saw flames streaming from the engine. Debris was raining onto Indonesia's Batam island below.

In the cockpit, the pilots watched as emergency warning messages filled a computer screen: There was an "overheat" warning in the No. 2 engine, followed by a "fire" warning. The wing slats were inoperative and the plane's auto-thrust and auto-land weren't working. There were warnings about the brakes and landing gear, the engine's anti-ice mechanism, the plane's center of gravity.

The crew shut down the engine and discharged one of its two fire extinguishers. But they were given no confirmation the extinguisher had discharged. They tried again, to no avail. They moved on to the second fire extinguisher. They still received no confirmation it was working.

More warnings followed: The plane's satellite communications system had failed. And the plane's No. 1 and No. 4 engines had reverted to a degraded mode, restricting the flow of information.

The crew hurried to sift through and respond to the growing sea of messages, a process that took about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, the second officer walked into the cabin to get a better look at the No. 2 engine and saw fuel leaking from the damaged left wing.

Landing the plane would be tricky: Reverse thrust, which slows the plane down on the runway, was only available from one of the four engines. Yet another message warned the pilots not to apply maximum braking until the plane's nosewheel was on the runway.

In those conditions, the pilots knew there was a chance they'd overrun the runway. The pilots warned the cabin crew to prepare for that possibility, and to be ready for an evacuation.

The autopilot disconnected a couple times during the plane's early approach, but a crew member managed to reconnect it. With just 1,000 feet (305 meters) to go, it disconnected again, leaving the captain little choice but to fly the aircraft manually for the rest of the approach.

The plane touched down and the captain applied maximum braking. With only one engine using reverse thrust, the plane was going fast, but eventually began to slow.

It finally came to a stop less than 500 feet (150 meters) from the end of the runway.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...-2631246857.html?x=0
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Australia’s aviation regulator said an oil leak in a Rolls-Royce Group Plc engine was the likely cause of an explosion that forced a Qantas Airways Ltd. Airbus SAS A380 to make an emergency landing in Singapore last month.

An oil fire was “central to the engine failure,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in its preliminary report on the Nov. 4 explosion. While investigations are continuing, the regulator has issued a safety recommendation for Rolls-Royce and airlines to carry out checks and modify engines where the issue appears.

A misaligned pipe caused by a manufacturing defect in the Trent 900 powerplant caused the oil leak that ultimately led to an explosion that sent shrapnel through the plane’s wing, the ATSB said. The regulator said it was satisfied with Qantas’s actions, which included an immediate grounding of its six A380s following the explosion and inspections.

“Given no one was aware the potential problem existed, it is highly unlikely that any maintenance would have been able to establish the problem,” ATSB Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan told reporters in Canberra today.

Rolls-Royce said in an e-mailed statement today the regulator’s findings are “consistent” with its own public statements and the London-based engine-maker will continue to work with authorities to ensure compliance.

The engine explosion over Indonesia forced the Qantas A380 to make an emergency landing in Singapore. None of the 469 passengers and crew onboard were injured, the regulator said.

‘Loud Bangs’

The flight crew reported hearing two “loud bangs” as the plane was still climbing after takeoff, with the aircraft’s monitor showing an overheating warning for its number 2 engine turbine, the report said.

As the pilots reduced thrust in the engine, a radio call was made to Singapore’s Changi airport indicating there may be a problem and fire extinguishers were deployed on the affected powerplant.

It took the crew about 50 minutes to complete all the procedures associated with the engine message and to test controllability of the plane before beginning a descent into Singapore less than two hours after takeoff.

“The aircraft wouldn’t have arrived safely in Singapore without the focus and effective action of the flight crew,” Dolan said today.

Flights Resumed

Qantas resumed passenger superjumbo flights on Nov. 27, and the carrier now has two in service.

The airline said it welcomed the ATSB’s findings. The carrier has completed the new recommended checks on one of the planes back in service while inspections on the second have started, Sydney-based Qantas said in a statement today.

The carrier has replaced five engines to meet the latest standards and another 11 will also either need to be modified or changed, it said. Qantas said it “continues to work closely” with Rolls-Royce, Airbus and regulators on the Trent 900.

More than a dozen Australian investigators have been piecing together shrapnel from the explosion over Indonesia, with the regulator passing on its findings to counterparts in Europe and Singapore.

The ATSB expects to release the final report within a year of the incident, it said on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner in Canberra rfenner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...ngine-explosion.html
 
Posts: 2536 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Swissair111.org    forums.swissair111.org    Discussion  Hop To Forum Categories  This and That    Qantas Airways Grounding Six Airbus A380s

© YourCopy 2002