Home » International News » 2010 » December » December 2, 2010

Potential manufacturing defect blamed for Qantas' A380 Rolls Royce engines' blasts

December 2, 2010 - Sydney

Sydney-based Qantas Airways has said that it will conduct more detailed inspections of its A380 Rolls-Royce engines after the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued a new safety alert today.

The ATSB issued the alert after identifying a potential manufacturing defect concerning an oil tube connection to the bearing structure of the Trent 900 engines installed in some A380 aircrafts, reports.

The problem relates to the potential for misaligned oil pipe counter-boring, which could lead to fatigue cracking, oil leakage and potential engine failure from an oil fire.

It is believed to be the cause of the dramatic engine failure onboard Qantas Airways' flight QF32 on November 4.

"After discussions with the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Rolls-Royce, it was decided it was prudent to conduct further inspections of engine components, although there is no immediate risk to flight safety," Qantas said in a statement.

"This is in line with Qantas' conservative, safety first approach," the statement added.

Qantas said that no effect on international services was anticipated from the checks.

The ATSB will release its preliminary factual investigation report into the QF32 incident tomorrow.

Flight QF32, an Airbus A380, bound for Sydney from Singapore, was carrying 433 passengers and 26 crewmembers when it ran into trouble shortly after take-off on November 4.

The double-decker plane was forced to return to Changi Airport after one of its four engines dramatically exploded mid-air over the Indonesian island of Batam.

According to a preliminary report by Airbus, turbine fragments flew out of the plane's engine when it exploded, severing cables in the wing, narrowly missing the fuel tank and taking out flight control systems during the incident.

Qantas had grounded its entire Airbus A380 fleet after the incident.

"We have decided that we will suspend all A380 takeoffs until we are fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32," Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce had said.

"We will suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met," he added.


Comment on this story