Qantas flight QF32 Airbus A380
Qantas Airways flight QF32 made an emergency landing in Singapore yesterday after what was initially described as an “engine explosion”. The Airbus A380 was carrying 440 passengers and 26 crew to Sydney via Singapore. A few minutes after take-off, the No 2 engine showed “abnormal engine indications” and was shut down. The flight continued for a further forty minutes to reduce fuel and then landed at Singapore. A passenger described it as two explosions followed by the cabin rattling and another stated that he could see where the engine had come away and torn through the wing.
Pieces of fibre debris up to one metre dropped onto a densely populated area on Batam Island. After landing, a further engine failed to shut down, the cause of which is being investigated.
Qantas, who reportedly has a further 20 A380s on order from Airbus, suspended all A380 flights “until sufficient information has been obtained about what occurred on the QF32 aircraft”.
The Airbus 380 is the largest passenger jet and can carry up to 800 passengers.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is leading the investigation and have stated that a preliminary factual report will be available by the 3rd of December.
Updates are being posted here: Investigation: AO-2010-089 – Qantas Airbus A380 – Inflight engine failure, Indonesia
One of the passengers, Ulf Waschbusch, posted to his blog with a set of photographs from the incident: I’m safe | blog.ulfw.com
The China Post has reported that Qantas believes the cause of the incident was a design flaw in the Rolls Royce engine and that maintenance was not a significant factor. Qantas have stated that they expect A380 flights to resume in 24-48 hours after they have completed safety checks. Singapore Air, who have 11 A380 aircraft using the same engine, also suspended their A380 flights but have announced that they are now resuming all flights.
Perth Now has a slide-show of high quality photographs of the A380 in-flight and the detail of the wing.
Coincidentally, a Qantas 747 also made an emergency landing this week in Singapore, also as a result of engine issues shortly after take-off. Flight QF6 returned to Singapore without incident and the flight will depart later today using the same plane. The BBC News – Factfile: Airbus A380 contrasts the Airbus A380 to the Boeing 747.
A British Airtours 737 aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure while preparing for take-off at Manchester Airport back in 1985 – the result was catastrophic and deadly. Thank goodness the Qantas jet didn’t suffer a similiar fate.
I felt sorry for the passengers who had to circle for an hour and a half while the pilots dumped enough fuel to land safely. The crew must have been amazing, as I didn’t read any reports on passengers panicking.
I do think that it’s impressive that the plane, despite being damaged, was perfectly serviceable and allowed the crew to lose the fuel and then land safely. And that there wasn’t a panic!
The ATSB web page is showing daily updates to the investigation which is fascinating.