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Renamed & Merged: Qantas Severe Engine Damage Over Indonesia

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Renamed & Merged: Qantas Severe Engine Damage Over Indonesia

Old 2nd Dec 2010, 08:58
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One would have to think that the powerplants engineering section would be monitoring engine trending data, however the technical knowledge of the internals of an engine would have been the Engine Overhaul Centre. Even if it was still in operation, I dont know if there would have been the sufficient experience gained as the engine is a new type.

As for the 744 RR engines, it has really hurt the operation not having the on hand expertise. We have never seen a higher level of engine issues and quality problems.Wether its directly related to the attention to quality and detail given in house or the lack it shown by the outsourced MRO's, who just do the bare minimum in the minimal time.. i dont know.

Even simple things like the amount of parts fitted U/S ex stores, failure of components that require engines to be dropped to replace, HP bleed and firewall shutoff valves failing tests,etc etc... all these things seem to be of regular occurrences in current times... whilst not major defects, they create a strain on manpower and scheduling, which impacts the operation.( I think most of these components are now outsourced, as opposed to the full overhaul facilities we used to have... meaning any parts failing tests would be back in the workshop to be fixed.. and not make their way to the flight line)

As for the 380 engines, the entire engine build manual is available on the intranet for those who want to see it. It also has a list of ALL the AD's that were issued for that engine type, explaining how and why and when.
The information is not a secret... I just wonder who is actually monitoring these publications from the manufacturer, and assessing the applicability or requirement to implement these directives into the QF fleet.

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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 10:13
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Am I being far fetched?


To suggest that the manufacturer (whether aircraft or engine) doesn't already have a say in an airline's operational decisions is naive. But this is not as far fetched as your story of a company agreeing to mass redundancies of skilled workers at the request of its contractor...
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 17:28
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But this is not as far fetched as your story of a company agreeing to mass redundancies of skilled workers at the request of its contractor...
Mate, that's not far fetched at all. I've done it. The key to successful outsourcing is lobotomising the customer so that they become totally dependent on the supplier.

To do that you have to remove the customers technical expertise. The first thing you do is hire the customers best people to work for you. The customer needs no encouragement to get rid of the remaining workforce, that's why they outsourced didn't they - to save money!

Any remaining technical experts are a threat, so you run a character assassination campaign, pointing out the danger to the managers career of having an internal expert around who might become critical of the outsourcing program and have the credibility to make their criticism stick.

This is done routinely in the IT industry, you are being naive if you don't think it happens. These contracts are worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and the boys from Accenture, IBM, EDS, etc. play for keeps. Don't try to tell me that Rolls Royce haven't taken a leaf out of their books.

You make your customer totally dependant on you, then ....profit!
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 03:30
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You must work with some nice people...

But this is not as far fetched as your story of a company agreeing to mass redundancies of skilled workers at the request of its contractor...
You must work with some very nice people up there on the 15th floor. I don't. I work in the IT industry, consulting to major corporations.

While working for "a very large Australian Bank" not so many years ago (say, 2005...) the staff were informed that the Bank would begin a massive (and mega-expensive) project to "re-in-source" their IT systems. The reason given was ".. it is evident that we have lost control over our IT strategic direction and operational capability..."

What Sunfish was saying, in other words. I'm not going to embarrass him (or me...) by naming either of the organisations, but I know exactly which one he was in, and he will know exactly which one I was in :-)

Just to amuse you, I could go further and say that, last time I looked, all of the IT services for a large Australian airline are provided by the same organisation. Which airline? Nope: won't say.

I've been in IT 30 years, give-or-take. It has taken the major corporations a very long time to figure out that "out-sourcing" is almost always a bad idea. It's not a complicated calculation: you can do it on the back of a beer coaster... "If you remove an activity from our business and move it to another business: that has to do the same job, plus account for that job in detail so they can send us a bill, plus buy a whole lot of expensive insurance which we do not need in case they make a mistake, plus make a profit, then either it will cost us more or they will do less."

Which is what we told them, 20 years ago. Which is what they're now "discovering", roughly at the time when the people who decided to outsource in the first place retire. Which is why Sunfish said you have to lobotomise the customer...
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 05:07
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In the engineering world too. Our existence is mostly because our customers can not fend for themselves.

Some of them can, and we happily supply goods and some services, others....well they just have to pay the price!


And we did not force our customers as said above.....they had all done it to themselves! Onya Bean counters you should hear the questions I get from Mrs Jaba at QR National.......their stratergies to save money make me laugh so hard

Last edited by Jabawocky; 3rd Dec 2010 at 10:25.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 06:00
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Interesting responses. It surprises me that such a tactic would work. I must be the naive one...
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 12:32
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Mate, that's not far fetched at all. I've done it. The key to successful outsourcing is lobotomising the customer so that they become totally dependent on the supplier.

To do that you have to remove the customers technical expertise.
Are you proud of that??
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 20:26
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Arnold E:

Are you proud of that??
Actually I'm not, but I was giddy from my first six figure salary and the "Group General Manager" title on my door and business card, and I didn't do it by myself or invent the practice, just went with the flow.

I did penance afterwards by working for Three Years on contract in the Victorian public service on industry development matters that I like to think produced a few jobs. That was very rewarding. Most Public servants are the salt of the earth.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 03:13
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Curioser and Curiouser

Qantas A380 engine hit by earlier problem
  • By Steve Creedy December 06, 2010 12:00AM
    • THE engine that disintegrated on an Airbus A380 near Singapore last month had earlier been taken off the aircraft to fix another problem.
The engine was only refitted in February, investigators have revealed.
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report released last week shows the No 2 engine was originally fitted as the aircraft's No 4 engine but was removed last year after metal was found in a chip detector.
Chip detectors are often a permanent magnet used to gather metal fragments, usually from lubrication oil.
The relatively new engine had performed just 3419 flight hours and 416 landing and take-off cycles at the time.
The engine was sent to a Singapore workshop certified to maintain and repair Rolls-Royce engines in September last year.
Engineers found spalling in a low-pressure compressor bearing and replaced the bearing assembly. Spalling occurs when flakes break off from a larger component and is usually associated in mechanical systems with high-stress points.low-pressure compressor is a different part of the engine than the one that failed in the dramatic Singapore incident.
The repair was completed in December last year, the engine was fitted to the aircraft on February 24 and had completed a further 2895 flight hours since then, the report said.
Last week's report revealed the extent of the damage inflicted on the superjumbo and the crucial role the crew played in nursing the crippled plane back to Singapore.
It also confirmed that damage extended beyond the left wing, including damage to the fuselage structure from a small piece of turbine debris.
Qantas has returned two A380s to service on the London route but is unable to fly the planes to Los Angeles because limitations still placed on the engines mean it would have to carry as few as 80 passengers on the return leg.
The Australian.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 09:12
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Qantas has returned two A380s to service on the London route but is unable to fly the planes to Los Angeles because limitations still placed on the engines mean it would have to carry as few as 80 passengers on the return leg.
I am really interested in this quote..

What is the basis of the quote that the A380 can only carry 80 pax on the Pacific route?

If this is true, what are we gonna do with them? Their main purpose was the Pacific routes SYD-LAX-SYD, MEL-LAX-MEL

I have been told they have to fly with 'reduced-thrust', and therefore very weight restricted.

But if they can't do the Pacific runs, then what exactly is the point of having them? Will they ever be able to do that run again?

In flight attendant open-time, the QF 11 is now being operated by the A330 SYD-AKL-LAX. Have we run out of 747s?

I know, its alot of questions, but any ideas?
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 11:16
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Did they really find the fault the first time?

Not an engineer, but my attention is drawn to the fact that this engine had a prior problem: it was dropped off the wing at about 3,000 hours because the chip detector indicated metal in the oil. Engineers found spalling in the low pressure bearing.

If I think back 45 years to when the airforce attempted to teach me metallurgy, "spalling" is often the result of inadequate lubrication.

About 3,000 hours later it blew up (sorry... 'burst'...) due to another lubrication problem.

I wonder if the engine shop in Singapore missed the real problem the first time?

Inquiring minds...
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Old 10th Dec 2010, 01:55
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Why is Qantas changing engines?

From Flightglobal:
Qantas' spokesman says the stub pipe defect is unrelated to the carrier's announcement last week that 16 of its Trent 900 engines require "modification to the latest standard or full replacement".
"That is not related to the stub pipe issue," the spokesman says. "The only stub pipe [fault] we have found is on this aircraft awaiting delivery." He declines to specify why the 16 other Trent 900s require change.
Three more Trent 900s found with manufacturing defect

So if not the stub pipe, why is QF changing 16 engines?

Is this to bring A mod and B mod engines to C mod standard? What does the C mod have the A and B mods don't?
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Old 10th Dec 2010, 02:44
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Qantas still waiting for OK to Los Angeles

Steve Creedy, Aviation writer From: The Australian December 10, 2010 12:00

ROLLS-ROYCE is expected to provide guidance as early as today that will tell when Qantas can send its A380 superjumbos back to Los Angeles.

A Qantas spokeswoman yesterday cautioned against using updated information in the global distribution system used by travel agents as an indicator of its plans for the key Melbourne-Los Angeles and Sydney-LA routes.

Trade publication Travel Daily reported that the updated entries showed Sydney-LA A380 flights resuming on January 18 and operating every second day until January 31, when they would return to daily service.

The system showed Melbourne-LA flights resuming as a one-off on January 16, with four-times-weekly flights resuming on February 3.

The spokeswoman said Qantas hoped to be in a better position to comment on Los Angeles next week. "We've got operational restrictions in place that were recommended by Rolls-Royce," she said.

The restrictions remain despite inspections that have shown existing Qantas A380s do not have an oil-pipe manufacturing flaw believed responsible for the failure of a Rolls-Royce engine last month. The restrictions limit the amount of thrust the airline can apply to the engines and mean it is not able to operate on the Los Angeles routes with a normal payload.

The A380 needs to use its maximum 72,000-pound thrust on take-off from Los Angeles, particularly on runway 24L, and Qantas says the restrictions make its trans-Pacific A380 operations uncommercial. It estimates that in some cases it could be limited to carrying 80 passengers instead of the 450 it would typically carry.

Qantas has reserved the right to sue the British engine-maker for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to engine performance guarantees, but it is hopeful of reaching a settlement.

But the cost of that settlement continues to grow.

Merrill Lynch put the cost of the debacle at $207 million, including $137m for lost revenue and $70m for repairs.

Previous estimates had put the cost at $100m to $130m.

Merrill analysts, who retained a buy rating on the stock, said they expected compensation to cover direct costs and revenue loss, but said this did not cover the cost of rebuilding the Qantas brand.

A global inspection of 45 engines found three with the oil-pipe flaw, including one on an undelivered Qantas A380
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Old 11th Dec 2010, 00:44
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From AvHerald

Accident: Qantas A388 near Singapore on Nov 4th 2010, uncontained engine failure

By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, Dec 9th 2010 16:13Z, last updated Thursday, Dec 9th 2010 16:13Z

The Australian Transportation Safety Board reported, that on Dec 2nd Rolls Royce released a new revision of its non-modification service bulletin (NMSB) 72-G595 defining assessment and engine rejection criteria for the measurement of potential oil feed stub pipes counter-bore misalignment. At the same time the NMSB tightened the compliance time frame from 20 to 2 flight cycles.

Since issue of the NMSB 45 Trent 900 engines have been inspected (standing Dec 8th):

29 engine were installed on operating aircraft
8 engines were not installed on aircraft
4 engines were about to be delivered
4 engines were on a flight test aircraft

Of these 45 engines 3 engines failed the inspection and were removed from service for further examination. All Qantas engines currently flying were found with no defects and remain in service.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has approved software updates to the Rolls Royce engine electronic control units, that is now incorporated into all operating aircraft. The new software version predicts intermediate turbine overspeed events and shuts the engine down before a turbine disk failure occurs.
EVERY 2 FLIGHT CYCLES! The issue still exists!
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Old 11th Dec 2010, 01:23
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At the same time the NMSB tightened the compliance time frame from 20 to 2 flight cycles.
EVERY 2 FLIGHT CYCLES! The issue still exists!
1746, I think you will find this refers to "time to comply" (ie when you must start the mandatory inspections). It has been revised. Was within 20 cycles now 2.

Initially all operators had to start within 20 cycles, in other words for example SIA could operate 20 cycles before they started their inspection programme. Now it's 2 cycles.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 11:51
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EXCLUSIVE - Qantas QF32 flight from the cockpit | Aerospace Insight | The Royal Aeronautical Society

One of a series of Cockpit pics during the emergency by Harry Wubben, Route Check Captain using an iPhone
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 14:39
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I have asked repeatedly if QF maintains the in house engineering expertise to understand what is happening to its engines and thus be proactive as opposed to reactive.

As a member of the management team of one of Australias first outsourcing companies involved in the IT industry, I know that one of he first moves we made is to "lobotomise" the customer so that no one within the customer organisation remains with the technical experience capable of taking issue with, or criticise, our service at all.

We did this first by the simple means of hiring away the best brains in the customer organisation. Secondly, we argued for the customer to retrench or fire any remaining technical staff on the basis that they were superfluous.

Finally we went to the manager who had made the outsourcing decision and told them in no uncertain terms that allowing potential technical "troublemakers" to remain in his organisation risked compromising the "success" of the outsourcing program by perhaps calling into question the wisdom of his outsourcing decision, with the obvious implication that if he relied totally on us, we would keep his career safe.

We used very well dressed, very smooth talking and intelligent people to convey this message and it succeeded every time. Hundreds were retrenched at our suggestion in many organisations, leaving them totally reliant on us for technical input, and thus immune from criticism. We produced brightly coloured reports every month that showed how well we were complying with contract performance requirements too.

It generally took about Five years before the organisation realised that they had lost operational control of a core capability that was now affecting their strategic business plans. They then had to begin the long, expensive and difficult task of building technical capability again, then prising our greasy little fingers off their computers.

What happened to the staff of the now closed Qantas RR centre of excellence?

To put it another way, in Five years time Qantas decides it wants to start a service to "Buttistan" in central Asia, and the airport is 4000 ft high and summer temperatures are 37C. Qantas then has to go cap in hand to RR regarding the thrust limits on the engines, and therefore its payload. In other words, RR now has a say in QF operational decisions. Am I being far fetched?
Sunfish's comment above is perhaps one of the most succinct and challenging comments I have ever read on PPRuNe. It is most chilling when one considers its depth and the far reaching consequences yet to be realized as a direct result of strategic decisions taken by inept (should I say ****wit?) CEO s and seniors Management at Qantas.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 21:16
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A simple reply to your question Sunfish. My brother was a QF Flight Engineer. He came up thru the hanger floor to this job. When QF purchased the 747/200 he and a couple of other engineers were sent to the Boeing factory, where they stayed for 6 months, and watched and checked just about every bolt and nut on the growing hull which was to become the first 747 that QF purchased. Ditto for the donks. There were times they disagreed with Boeing engineers, and wanted alterations to suit the long haul flying these aircraft were being prepared for, mostly Boeing bowed to their wishes though not always gracefully. The enormous amount of infomation learnt was of great benefit to QF, who at that time ran a really tight engineering outfit, in fact probably one of the best in the world, with outstanding engineers, unencumbered by bean counters, and the result was aircraft beautifully engineered for the job, engineers with a huge bank of infomation behind them, Flight Engineers more than happy with performance, and pilots confident with their training and a delight in the aircraft they were flying. Of course there were gliches, but nothing serious, and the best part was engineering was seamless, parts very seldom left the base, and QF had a great product. Now I am not privy to what engineering does now or what it did whilst the A380 was being built, but what I do know engineering is only a shell of its former self, almost destroyed by lack of knowledge, stupidity, and greed from people who simply have no idea other than profit, and this must have had a flow on effect on the engineers who oversaw the production of this aircraft. No blame on them, they are working under conditions imposed on them by beancounters, not by experienced manager engineers. My brother is gobsmacked this problem was not picked up on the factory floor, in the test pads, and will not have it that the engineers of the 70's and 80's would have not seen it coming, his opinion, not necessarily mine. There it is from the horses mouth, so to speak Sunfish, I don't know the answer, other than back to basics, and to hell with costs.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 22:21
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teresa green,

I'm an ex APS that specialised in apprenticeship training. After getting the flick on my 55th birthday, I spent the next 10 years working for a Group Training Organisations that I set up while in the APS!!!!. My job was setting up a Registered Training Organisation to train the apprentices - (Adelaide's PEER VEET is a joint GTO and RTO that trains over 500 plumbing, electrical, electronic and refrigeration apprentices for the services industries). Most of the Trainers and Assessors used by PEER VEET are ex DCA, DSTO and Aircraft trained Tradespersons who had been 'flicked' by the former DCA and aircraft shops.

From the early 1980s, there was a decision by companies and government 'beancounters' to withdraw from 'direct' apprenticeship training effort.

As a result, the number of apprentices being trained dropped dramatically. Companies that had industrial and commercial advantage and high intellectual proprietorship capability were suddenly without a continuing skilled workforce.

The organisations' capacity to 'compete' was lost and with it all the skill base of the organisations was seriously compromised.

Bean counters, to justify their existence, shut down their Australian production capacity and sourced the organisation's products and services from overseas.

The companies have never really recovered and the beancounters, realising that their worth in the organisation is now not sufficiently rewarded, pick up their lunch boxes and move to another organisation and do the same to them.

I call bean counters 'parasites on society'.

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Old 1st Jan 2011, 15:51
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Qantas Airbus A380 PICTURES

PICTURES of the damaged wing structure of the Qantas Airbus A380, flight
QF32, 4th November 2010, „Nancy-Bird Walton“, MSN 0014, Reg. VH-OQA



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