Qantas QF34 A380: Rolls Royce Trent 900 Engine Failure Probe
A380 Trent 900 Engine Failure : Qantas QF34 Emergency Landing In Singapore | Qantas Grounds A380 Fleet
The A380 is the Rolls Royce of the sky, literally. The emergency landing of Qantas flight QF34 in Singapore after one of the engines failed, is raising questions about the the European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co (EADS) as one of the world's safest airlines, Qantas grounds its fleet of Airbus A380s.
Though the Qantas A380 landed safely it was a frightening experience for the passenger and crew aboard as a loud bang was hear in the air and then it became clear one of the Rolls Royce built engines had malfunctioned and failed.
Qantas said there had been no explosion, but witnesses aboard the plane and on the ground reported blasts. Officials in Indonesia said the engine trouble could not have been related to recent volcanic eruptions of Mount Merapi, some 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to the east.
After the plane touched down in Singapore, the engine closest to the fuselage on the left wing had visible burn marks and was missing a plate section that would have been painted with the red kangaroo logo of the airline. The upper part of the left wing also appeared damaged, indicating that one or more pieces from the engine punched a hole in the wing.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK is reporting that this is the third incident involving the A380 with Trent 900 Rolls Royce engines.
One occurred in August when a Lufthansa A380 en route from Tokyo to Frankfurt was forced to shut down one of its four Trent 900 engines shortly before landing, after crew detected a change in oil pressure.
And in September last year another Rolls Royce powered A380, this time operated by Singapore Airlines, was forced to turn back two hours and 45 minutes after leaving Paris on a flight to the Far East, because of an engine malfunction.
Of the 37 A380s currently in the air, 20 are equipped with the Trent 900. They are operated by Singapore, Qantas and Lufthansa, who now have all reported problems.
The third incident occurred in 2008 when a British Airways 777 powered by a Rolls Royce Trent 800, crash landed at Heathrow Airport. Now, Qantas has decided to ground its fleet of A380s and conduct an investigation.
The Qantas planes will be out of service for “as long as it takes,” Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said at a press briefing in Sydney broadcast on Australian television. The turbine suffered what appeared to be an “uncontained failure,” where pieces of debris are flung out at high speed, piercing the casing, or nacelle, the Australian company said.
The European Aviation Safety Agency issued a so-called airworthiness directive effective from Jan. 29 warning of abnormal levels of wear to the Trent 900 during standard operation. Qantas said it complied with the recommendations.