PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure
Old 3rd Dec 2010, 03:02
  #1549 (permalink)  
Capt Kremin
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Roguesville, cloud cuckooland
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The Australian Transportation Safety Board ATSB have released their preliminary report reporting, that the flight crew consisted of 5 pilots: the captain (PIC), the first officer (FO), a second officer (SO), a second captain undergoing training as a check captain (CC) and a supervising check captain (SCC) overseeing the training of the second captain.

The flight was planned to fly to the east of active Merapi volcano. The PIC was pilot flying in the left hand seat, the FO was in the right hand seat, the CC in the center observer's seat, the SCC in the left hand observer's and the SO in the right hand observer's seat.

The crew reported later, that following departure from Singapore's runway 20C and after retracting gear and retracting the flaps they were climbing at 250 KIAS through 7000 feet when they heard two almost coincident loud bangs. The PIC selected altitude hold and heading hold immediately on the master control panel and the first officer started his stopwatch. The crew observed a slight yaw, the airplane levelled off. The crew expected the autothrottle to reduce engine thrust however it became evident autothrottle was no longer active and the engine thrust was reduced manually in order to maintain 250 KIAS. Both flight directors remained available to the crew. An engine #2 overheat warning was displayed on the ECAM soon followed by multiple messages.

The crew actioned the engine overheat checklist which required the engine to be throttled back to idle and monitor the situation for 30 seconds. During those 30 seconds a PAN call was transmitted. The FO noticed a fire indication for engine #2 for about 1-2 seconds before the display returned to overheat. The crew elected to shut the engine down, following the shut down the ECAM indicated the engine had failed.

The crew assessed that there was serious damage and elected to discharge a fire bottle into engine #2, but contrary to their expectations they did not get indication that the bottle had discharged. They discharged again but again received no confirmation that the bottle had discharged. They then decided to discharge the second bottle into engine #2 but again received no confirmation. The crew elected to continue the checklist and noticed that #2 was shown failed, engines #1 and #4 in degraded mode, #3 was operating in alternate mode. The ECAM continued to show numerous messages.

The flight crew recalled they received the following failures:

- engine #2 failed
- engine #1 and #4 in degraded mode
- green hydraulics low pressure and low quantity
- yellow hydraulics engine #4 pump error
- failure of AC electrical busses 1 and 2
- flight controls in alternate mode
- wing slats inoperative
- ailerons partial control only
- reduced spoiler control
- landing gear control and indicator warnings
- multiple brake system messages
- engine anti-ice and air data sensor messages
- multiple fuel system messages including fuel jettison fault
- center of gravity messages
- autothrust and autoland inoperative
- #1 engine generator disconnected
- left wing pneumatic bleed leaks
- avionic system overheat

The crew discussed whether to immediately return to Singapore, climbing or holding and decided the best option was to maintain altitude while processing the ECAM messages.

The crew frequently assessed the fuel on board which was sufficient to complete the checklist procedures. The aircraft remained controllable. They advised ATC they would need about 30 minutes to process the ECAM messages and requested to hold for that period. Singapore cleared the flight for a holding east of Singapore, the flight crew advised however they needed to remain within 30nm of Singapore Airport in case they needed to land immediately. ATC advised that residents at Batam had found debris on the ground, then vectored the aircraft to a 20nm holding pattern east of Singapore Airport.

While the crew processed the ECAM messages the SO was dispatched to the cabin to assess the damage to the #2 engine. While he walked through the cabin a passenger, also Qantas pilot, pointed out that pictures from the vertical fin mounted camera suggested a fluid leak from the left hand wing. The SO walked down to the lower deck of the passenger cabin and observed damage to the wing and a fluid leak that appeared to be about 0.5 meters wide. He could not see the turbine area of the engine from any position in the cabin. The SO returned to the cockpit and reported his observations.

The crew stopped re-arranging the fuel system doubting the integrity of the system. They could not dump fuel due to the fuel jettison error message. The operator sent ACARS messages that they had received multiple ACARS messages indicating various system failures from the automatic reporting system, the crew was busy with the ECAM messages and found time to just acknowledge the ACARS transmissions.

The PIC and SSC made a number of announcements to the passengers advising that they had technical problems, they were working to address these issues and it would take some time to do so. Subsequently the SO and SSC went to the cabin frequently to check the left hand side of the aircraft and to provide feedback to cabin crew and passengers.

It took about 50 minutes to complete the checklist procedures associated with the ECAM messages. During that time the autopilot was engaged. The crew then assessed which systems were operative, degraded and failed and discussed the impact on landing performance. They also believed that engine #1 may have been damaged and discussed a number of concerns regarding fuel imbalances that had been indicated by the ECAM.

The crew determined their landing weight would be 440 tons, about 50 tons above maximum landing weight, and computed the required landing distance with the systems available. The computation showed, that a landing on runway 20C was feasable with 100 meters of runway remaining. The crew elected to proceed on basis of this computation and advised ATC accordingly. The crew advised further they needed emergency services at the upwind end of the runway, fluid was leaking from the left wing that was likely to include hydraulic fluid and fuel.

Prior to leaving the holding pattern the crew discussed controllability of the aircraft and performed a number of manual checks at the holding speed. The crew requested a 20nm final to runway 20C to commence from 4000 feet, ATC fulfilled that request.

While the crew began the approach and lowered flaps they conducted further controllability tests at the approach speed and decided the airplane was controllable. The landing gear was lowered using the emergency extension procedure, a further controllability check was conducted.

The approach speed was computed at 166 KIAS. The crew was aware that reverse thrust was available only from the #3 engine, no leading edge slats were available, there was limited aileron and spoiler control, anti-skid was restricted to the body gear only, there was limited nose wheel steering and the nose would likely pitch up on landing. An ECAM message indicated they could not apply maximum braking until the nose wheel was on the runway. The flaps were extended to position 3.

ATC vectored the aircraft for a 20nm final progressively descending the aircraft to 4000 feet, the PIC was aware that speed control was necessary to avoid an aerodynamic stall and a runway overrun. Consequently the PIC set engine #1 and #4 to symmetric thrust and controlled the speed of the aircraft with the #3 engine. The autopilot disconnected a number of times during the initial approach, the airspeed dropped to 165 KIAS. The PIC reconnected the autopilot a number of times but when the autopilot disengaged again at 1000 feet he decided to fly manually for the remainder of the flight. Due to the limited runway margin available the CC reminded the PIC that the landing had to be done without flare and there would be a slightly higher nose up attitude during touch down.

The flight crew briefed the cabin crew for a possible runway overrun and evacuation.

The airplane touched down on Singapore's runway 20C 109 minutes after departure and within 6 seconds the nose wheel touched down and maximum braking was applied, reverse thrust was selected on the #3 engine. The crew felt that initially the deceleration was slow but with maximum braking and reverse thrust the airplane began to decelerate. The PIC felt confident the airplane would stop on the runway after the airplane had decelerated to 60 knots, and moved engine #3 gradually out of maximum reverse thrust. Manual braking was continued and the airplane stopped about 150 meters before the runway end.

The crew then shut down the remaining 3 engines, the aircraft electrical systems went into a configuration similiar to an emergency electrical power mode which blanked most of the cockpit displays. Just prior to the displays going blank the crew observed the body gear temperature rising to 900 degrees C and above. After some confusion which of the VHF radios remained available the FO contacted fire services who requested engine #1 to be shut down. The crew replied engine #1 was already shut down but was advised that the engine continued to run. The crew recycled the engine #1 master switch, but the engine continued to run. The crew used the emergency shut off switch and fire extinguisher bottles, but the engine continued to run. The fire commander advised there was fuel leaking from the left hand wing, the FO advised of the hot brakes and requested fire retardant foam to be applied over that fuel. The fire commander complied with that request.

After assessing the checklists the crew decided the safest course of action would be to disembark the passengers through the right hand doors via stairs. A single door was elected so that the passengers could be counted and the other doors remained available should a rapid evacuation via slides become necessary.

Crew contacted the operator via mobile phone to check how to shut engine #1 down.

The first passenger disembarked through the #2 main deck forward door 55 minutes after landing, the last passenger disembarked about 1 hour later.

The crew was advised by the fire commander that 4 tyres of the left body gear had deflated. Further attempts to shut engine #1 down were without success, operator advice to activate a number of circuit breakers in the electronic bay also remained unsuccessful. Attempts were made to re-arrange the fuel supply in order to starve engine #1, however due to lack of electrical power that was not possible.

Finally the decision was made to drown the engine with fire fighting foam. The engine finally stopped about 127 minutes after landing.

No injuries occurred on board of the aircraft. Two persons received minor injuries on the ground at the Island of Batam.

The PIC had a total experience of 15104 hours thereof 570 on the A380, the FO had 11279 hours thereof 1271 hours on the A380, the SO had 8153 hours thereof 1005 on type, the CC had 20144 hours thereof 806 on the A380 and the SCC had 17692 hours thereof 1345 hour on type.
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