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Author Topic: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag  (Read 6579 times)

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Offline Nicolas

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Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« on: November 04, 2010, 09:15:57 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/singapore/8109838/Qantas-passengers-happy-to-be-alive-after-engine-failure.html

Quote
The flight, which originated in London and was destined for Sydney, was abandoned 15 minutes after take-off from Singapore when passengers heard a loud bang and saw smoke and sparks coming out of one engine.

The pilot then informed the cabin that the engine had been shut down and the aircraft was heading back to Changi Airport.

 
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Air passenger says child in neighbouring seat burst her eardrumsThe A380, carrying 433 passengers and 26 crew, circled for an hour dumping fuel before it landed safely at Changi at 11.45am local time.

Once on the tarmac, it appeared that casing from the aircraft's number two engine was missing and parts of the aircraft's underside were blackened.

The incident has raised safety concerns over the world's biggest passenger jet, with Qantas suspending flights of all six of its A380s indefinitely. Models owned by Air France, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa will continue to fly.

Lars Sandberg, a DJ from Glasgow, Scotland, who was on the plane said he was "just happy to be alive".

He told the BBC website: "Everything was going smoothly in the first 15 minutes and then there was a sharp bang. I thought some metal container fell down in the cargo area, but the carriage started to vibrate and there was a bit of smoke.

"I was sitting right next to engine two. People around me were visibly shaken and we all realised that whatever happened wasn't normal. There was a mother with two children who was quite worried."

He went on: "The landing was quite smooth, although the plane felt a bit heavy. When we landed there was fuel leaking from the plane, something ignited and blew the case of the engine.

"When we got off and saw the engine itself and the back casing burnt off, that was pretty scary. It was a nerve-wracking experience and I feel a little bit shaken up. I'm just happy to be alive and safe in the terminal building."

Singapore-based businessman Mr Waschbusch posted a message on social networking site Twitter shortly after landing which read: "Just emergency landed back in Singapore after engine blew up at take-off and parts ripped through wings. Damn."

He told Daybreak that passengers were shouting and crying with relief when the jet landed safely.

He explained: "There was immediately rapture, shouting and crying - it was an amazing sight.

"We didn't quite feel safe at the moment of touchdown because you've got rolling all the way till the end of the runway, we then parked at the end of the runway and we were still leaking fuel from the engine, so fire-fighters came and had to take care of the fuel leak.

"The (engine) one on the left hand side kept running and they weren't able to turn off that engine - so we were still half an hour or so when we were on the ground and still sceptical about what was going on and we just wanted to exit."

When the Airbus was unveiled in 2005, it was hailed as the beginning of a new era in long haul air travel. Each double-decker A380 can carry up to 500 passengers and cut travel times from London to Sydney by several hours.

There have been no fatal incidents involving A380s since they were launched as the greenest, quietest – as well as the biggest – jetliner in the world.

However, earlier this year one of the planes operated by Qantas burst two tyres when landing in Sydney, and in September 2009 an A380 was forced to turn around in mid-flight and return to Paris.

The latest incident comes just days before Qantas was due to celebrate its 90th anniversary.

Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Australia's national carrier, said the airline had opened an investigation into what went wrong but in the meantime was taking no risks.

"We have decided that we will suspend all A380 take-offs until we're fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32," he said in Sydney.

"The A380 is a fantastic aircraft. This issue of an engine failure is one we have not seen before. We are obviously taking this very seriously, because it was a significant engine failure."

Rolls-Royce, which manufactures the engines, would be involved in the investigation, he said.

However, Mr Joyce said the incident would not affect pending orders for the aircraft.

"We have orders for over 20 aircraft. Those aircraft will continue to arrive," he said.

There are 37 A380s in service around the world, flying 26 routes.

Aviation experts have said that despite the fact that no one was injured during the incident, it was very serious.

Péter Marosszéky, senior visiting fellow in the Department of Aviation at the University of New South Wales, said it was "a fairly massive internal failure".

"This type of incident has been seen previously but it was a long time ago and with much older planes than the A380," he said.

"This is probably the most serious incident involving the A380 since it began flying in commercial service," said aviation expert Tom Ballantyne, chief correspondent of Orient Aviation magazine.

There was initial confusion after early reports said that the A380 Airbus had crashed in a western Indonesian town.

Witnesses said that they had heard a loud explosion as a Qantas aircraft flew overhead and pieces of fuselage were found on the ground.

Pictures of metal, some the size of a door bearing the red and white of the "flying kangaroo" logo, flashed on MetroTV, with people milling around.

"I heard a big explosion at around 9:15am and saw a commercial passenger plane flying low in the distance with smoke on one of its wings," Rusdi, a local resident, told MetroTV.

"The debris started falling on my house."

However, the Australian national carrier quickly denied that any of its planes had crashed, saying that QF32 had suffered engine problems and had been forced to turn around.

Qantas has never had a fatal jetliner accident in its 90-year history.

The incident took place as it emerged that Jetstar, Qantas's budget airline, had to divert one of its aircraft into Changi Airport earlier this week.

Jetstar Flight JQ 28 from Phuket to Sydney, operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, was diverted without incident into Singapore Changi because of a problem with the autopilot.

Jetstar said that the aircraft, which was carrying 288 passengers, had "a normal landing" into Singapore.

The A330-200 aircraft is undergoing inspection by Jetstar engineers based in Singapore.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said it had no plans to ground its three A380 aircraft but that it would do so if advised of any concerns by the manufacturer.

An Airbus spokesman said the company would assist Singaporean authorities with their investigation.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline jfdoyon

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 10:22:12 AM »
The first big one anyways ... They've had a burst tire also ...

The million dollar question will be whether this was rooted in a design flaw, or some FOD/maintenance issue/etc ...

pcarscallen

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 02:55:13 PM »
So far everything is speculation.  However Qantas has since grounded all its 380's as they operate with Rolls Royce Trent 900's.  It appears from photos and other media that it is an engine issue not an aircraft issue (I realise that the engine affected the aircraft)

Offline Nicolas

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 05:18:59 PM »
From what (little) I've read, the engine appears to have disintegrated/blown up/failed/kicked the bucket prematurely/whatever in mid flight.  Looks like there was a warning given to the EU (from who, I dont know) about possible premature wear on the Trent 900 engine, whether this warning has anything to do with this incident, thats unknown.

Speculation.

Good on Qantas to ground the whole 380 fleet though.  I cant imagine what it takes to make such a decision, especially given its the A380.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline jfdoyon

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 09:15:38 PM »
Quantas has an enviable safety record and reputation to protect ...

pcarscallen

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 04:03:55 AM »
Actually QANTAS safety record over the past year has been put into question with numerous maintenance and safety concerns.  O2 bottle a 747 exploded puncturing the pressure hull, and some other fairly high profile cases.

On another note the A380 hasn't had a clean sheet either, the Emirates one had some wheels explode on touchdown about 6 months ago.

pcarscallen

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 12:35:53 PM »
QANTAS is now in the process of changing 2 engines on its 380 fleet.  On inspection of the other aircraft it discovered issues on the #3 engines and are swapping them out

Just to add to the QANTAS issues a 747 had an engine failure after taking off out of Singapore.  Also another 747 had to return to London due to a hydraulic leak.

Really bad timing for all these incidents to take place especially as they occurred to the same carrier

pcarscallen

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2010, 07:45:59 PM »
Here is a link to to the ATSB which has a PDF of the preliminary report on the A380 incident.
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2010/aair/ao-2010-089.aspx

On talking with people related to the company and reading the report it is quite clear the crew did an amazing job and that a lot of systems were affected by the uncontained failure of the number 2 engine.

EDIT: unmaintained should be uncontained
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 11:59:10 PM by pcarscallen »

Offline canadian

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 11:28:53 PM »
... a lot of systems were affected by the unmaintained failure of the number 2 engine.

I heard it was an uncontained failure. Are they assigning probably cause by calling it an unmaintained failure?
 :017:
Alan Salvin
1948 C-170 C-GHFK
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Offline Nicolas

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 08:48:05 AM »
I think it was 'uncontained', or at least, thats what I assumed he meant, especially given that 'uncontained failure' has been the term thrown around a lot on this incident.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline M Philippe

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 10:18:43 AM »
I watched a show once about aircraft engine testing & the engine housing specs should be able to contain any flying fragment from an exploding engine so that is probably what they meant by uncontained.  Parts flew through the engine housing & did substantial damage.

Actually, if I am not mistaken, the show was testing the A380 engine.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 11:44:42 AM by M Philippe »
Marc Philippe
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Offline Nicolas

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 11:10:43 AM »
You're exactly right.  'uncontained' was meant I think for two reasons though:

A) that the "shield" was penetrated; and
B) that the "shield" failed and seperated from the engine.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline jfdoyon

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 12:55:04 PM »
As M Philippe said "uncontained" refers to the fact that parts went flying inside the engine, and somehow got out through path other than straight out the back, despite the engine being designed to NOT have this happen.

These engines are designed to contain any catastrophic internal failure and have it blow out the back, where no damage would be done to the rest of the A/C.

So there's the problem of that oil fire, but also the problem of how come this wasn't contained?

Offline ckiff

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2010, 04:22:35 PM »
... despite the engine being designed to NOT have this happen.

These engines are designed to contain any catastrophic internal failure and have it blow out the back, where no damage would be done to the rest of the A/C.


Turbine engines are only tested to contain a single fan blade failure, since those are seen to be the worst case scenario. A fan blade is very heavy compared to compressor and turbine blades and cause the most damage since once the blade separates and is contained by the engine casing and blows through the rest of the engine taking just about everything with it. However in this case there is a lot of force pushing everything out the back of the engine. This is tested by putting a charge on the root of a single fan blade and blowing it while the engine is spooling at full power. It's impressive to watch!

A380 Blade Off Test


In the A380 incident, from what I understand this essentially became a catastrophic failure of an entire turbine DISK. Containing an entire disk is practically impossible without building an engine that is massively overweight. However we'll see what the outcome is of this since the damage caused by the turbine blades flying through the wing caused significant damage, and could have potentially brought down the whole aircraft.
Chris Kiff
ATPL / Class 1 Instructor / Ex-RFC Instructor / Current Airline Pilot

pcarscallen

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Re: Looks like the A380 had it's first snag
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 08:10:02 PM »
as per the preliminary report the IPT (intermediate pressure turbine) disc failed resulting in the uncontained failure.  parts of this turbine broke through and then penetrated the leading edge of the wing destroying 2 redundant hydraulic systems and a fuel control line to the number 1 engine which is why they had to shut it down using fire retardant from fire trucks

 

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