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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

Old 12th Nov 2010, 07:17
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Rolls-Royce engines were modified well before Qantas mid-air scare | Herald Sun
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 07:27
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which led to the release of the intermediate pressure turbine disc
That's a nice way of putting it!

PS: That 'village' on Batam island is closer to 700,000 people in greater Batam City Center and Nagoya (adjacent to one another), with another 300,000 or so strewn about the rest of the island in other population centers like Sekupang, as well as the kampongs along the coast. Didn't see any spare parts on the golf course, though.

Last edited by StrongEagle; 12th Nov 2010 at 07:56.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 08:51
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Hi All, been following this with interest as booked on a QF 380 in december, would be first time on one so hope they're back up by then!.

Reading todays RR press release on rootcause 'Oil fire leading to turbine disc failure' raises a couple of questions.

How long from the fire taking hold within the turbine to disc failure? seconds/minutes?

Assuming its not an immediate failure, why would such an oil fire not be detected and the crew alerted, thus enableing the engine to be shut down/fire handle pulled.

No axe to grind like flying on Airbus and Boeing equally!

regards.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 09:32
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Just to add something to this: The oil fire was apparently not the direct cause of the failure. The lack of oil (while it was being consumed by the fire) caused a bearing on the shaft to seize. This caused excessive forces in the shaft, which broke, causing the turbine to spin out of control and break

Sounds scary

for RR
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 09:35
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From the Australian Transport Safety Bureau:

The ATSB is investigating an occurrence involving a Qantas A380 aircraft that experienced engine failure over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010.

The aircraft landed safely in Singapore having returned with the aircraft's No 2 engine shut down. There were no injuries.

Update: 6.55pm - 12 November 2010
Engine investigation
The examination under ATSB supervision of the No 2 engine turbine disk segment at the Rolls-Royce facility in Derby, United Kingdom is continuing. Boroscopic and other examination of the engine itself continues in Singapore.
EASA Airworthiness Directive (AD)
On 10 November 2010 (European time), the European Aviation Safety Agency issued EASA AD No: 2010-0236-E in respect of the operation of the Rolls-Royce PLC RB211 Trent 900 series engines. The airworthiness directive introduced a requirement for the periodic inspection of the high pressure/intermediate pressure engine structure for any abnormal oil leakage. If any discrepancy is identified, the further operation of that engine is prohibited.
The action by the European Aviation Safety Agency was based on a preliminary analysis of the circumstances of the engine failure by the European Aviation Safety Agency, which the agency said showed that an oil fire in the high pressure/low pressure structure cavity may have caused the failure of the intermediate pressure turbine disc.
Rolls-Royce announcement
This evening, Rolls-Royce announced that its own investigations had led it to draw two key conclusions:
'First, as previously announced, the issue is specific to the Trent 900. Second, the failure was confined to a specific component in the turbine area of the engine. This caused an oil fire, which led to the release of the intermediate pressure turbine disc.'
At this stage, the ATSB does not have enough information to comment on the first conclusion. The second conclusion is not inconsistent with the ATSB's work to date in Derby and Singapore. The ATSB supports any proactive safety action that is undertaken in response.
Ongoing ATSB investigation
The effort by the ATSB and investigation team to fully understand the nature and implications of the engine failure and its consequences is ongoing. The search for additional engine and other components on Batam Island, Indonesia enjoyed initial success, with the recovery of a small engine part. The search continues and it is hoped that additional large portions of the No 2 engine turbine disk will be located.
Preparations for the removal of the No 2 engine from the aircraft are nearing completion and it appears that the engine may be able to be removed from the aircraft somewhat earlier than initially planned. Once safely removed from the aircraft, the engine will be transported to a local engine repair facility for disassembly and technical examination under ATSB supervision.
In Australia, the flight crew interviews have been finalised and collated. Qantas has invited ATSB investigators to attend the cabin crew post-incident de-brief.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 09:51
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From 'Moneyweek' - Engine-maker Rolls Royce said it will miss its target for 2010 profits as a result of problems with its Trent 900 engine which has grounded Qantas's fleet of A380 airliners. Rolls had forecast profit growth of between 4% and 5%, but today said growth would be "slightly lower" than predicted.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 10:07
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Smile

Semi off-topic, but isn't it funny when media copy-and-paste their stories right off pprune?

news.com.au and pprune.org side-by-side. I think news.com.au ... on Twitpic
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 10:12
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Thumbs up Absolute Gold

Well Done Kristofera - and thanks for taking the time to do that!

Time to shame the journo for not quoting the source, and even worse, for not quoting the original source.

The Chardster.

[Edit: added Kristofera's name]
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 10:18
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As a journo I had a BS detector

I have no doubt that RR and Airbus will do their best to solve any issues, and that the flying whale will in due course be safe if not safer than any other metallic pterodactyl transporting two-legged freight; however the press release by RR *stinks*.
Trent 900 update - Rolls-Royce

According to the "reporter" in the link below, who is citing sources by name, the current production A380 engines are modded. Now I wonder whether RR arebeing very careful about NOT talking about the fact that mods were made; and I also wonder whether Airbus was told of the reason of the mods, and whether Quantas was told anything at all. In the heavily certified and inspected environment of the aeronautics industry, I wonder how much a supplier can mod a "minor component" like an engine without documenting, explaining and recertifying downstream.

Rolls-Royce engines were modified well before Qantas mid-air scare | Herald Sun

To be nasty, I would think that it looks like if the pilots hadn't brought their plane down safely, people might be looking for scapegoats to send to prison.

Edmund

Last edited by edmundronald; 12th Nov 2010 at 10:43.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 10:43
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Having seen the descriptions of the overall level of damage, I can't quite decide between

It's a credit to the engineers, constructors, flight crew and airworthiness industry in general that this was 'no more' serious than an overweight emergency landing. Warm congratulations and thanks from a frequent flyer to all concerned.

and

****ing hell. That was too close for comfort. A near wipe out that would have killed off RR and Airbus. Lucky doesn't even begin to cover it.

Ultimately, it's the old adage about the peeps up front. They wouldn't fly dangerous machines.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 11:07
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It seems to me that Rolls-Royce may have made modifications under the usual policy of continuous development that most technology companies pursue.

That doesn't mean that they believed an in-service failure likely, it may well be that their previous information showed that the older engines would reach their overhauls without problems. Imagine if they had decided to change engines unnecessarily, spending a lot of money without a good reason.

Now they have discovered otherwise and are taking action to correct this.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 11:10
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Faulty bearing box, and shrapnel came very close to striking the front spar.

Airbus says bearing box failed in Rolls engine - Yahoo! News
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 11:39
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Originally Posted by Feathers McGraw
It seems to me that Rolls-Royce may have made modifications under the usual policy of continuous development that most technology companies pursue.

That doesn't mean that they believed an in-service failure likely, it may well be that their previous information showed that the older engines would reach their overhauls without problems.
The change may also have been aimed at something else, but fix this issue as side effect.

Also, there was the AD issued before the incident, which may have been intended to cover this issue in the older engines. If it was, then maybe the AD wasn't sufficient or wasn't followed right, but RR could not be accused of doing nothing about a known problem.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 12:01
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Has anyone yet stated how much oil is in a system with a full resevoir and is the oil system constant loss or are there scavenge pumps?
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 12:21
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just wait until we get all these geared fans.........
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 15:42
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AD Details

My first post so hope this is as easy as it appears.

Interesting that the EAD issued on the Trent 900 is not engine serial number specific. If there is a new configuration out there that eliminates this problem then I would have expected the EAD to be written against specific ESN's and that the newer ESN's would not require inspection thus lessening the burden on these affected airlines.

Also for the question about oil scavenging, the Trent 900 like all large turbine engines employ scavenging. The most modern engines incorporate bearing compartment technology that results in very low, like 0.01 quarts per hour of consumption.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 15:54
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Question:

How come no alert came on in the cockpit indicating a fire? Their early warning system is when a piece of blown rotor hits you in the head. That's not good.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 16:00
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I referenced shaft seizure a couple pages back, "lock". The bearing "race" is supplied oil by a pump. The pump is dumb, so the oil needs be regulated by scavenge through vaned galleries (manifold). If the "vane restrictors" (the installed regulators of oil flow) become clogged (coking, carbon), the bearing "box" is pressurized with oil, and the seal fails, supplying oil to "where it shouldn't be" (Joyce). It ignites, causing heat and utter failure of the oil seal. Now the bearing is metal to metal, supplying friction heat to the heat of combustion, and the shaft slows in its fixed mount as its bearings grind to a halt. If the timing of the failures is sufficient, the Shaft locks, the wheel scrubs off its splines, overspeeds, and separates from the engine in pieces whose shape shows not Blade (related) failure, but hub failure, the part of the Wheel that is the strongest, witness the perpendicular fractures of the disc.

v-aero

The AD is not serial specific because every engine is supposed to be "identical". Each engine has a rigorous "provenance" to include which bloke did what, and what he ate for breakfast that morning. lomapaseo would know best, but an AD is not issued across the fleet to scrap an anomalous and single power plant. The Onus is on the manufacturer to demonstrate that the failure is a one-off, if not, hence the "Model" AD. The AD here has listed exactly the powerplants to be subjected to accelerated inspections and/or Strip. "And for good measure, all the rest" is a litigable and overbroad (even punitive) ruling. imo

bear

Last edited by bearfoil; 12th Nov 2010 at 16:20.
 
Old 12th Nov 2010, 16:02
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@Vovachan

I've never come across any engine that had fire warning systems inside the core. How hot do you think it gets in there?

On the RB211's I have worked on the fire warning loops are positioned on the outside of the fan case, the outside of the core, in the nose cowl, in the inter-services area( the splitter) and in the strut. I see no reason for the Trent 900 to be any different.
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Old 12th Nov 2010, 16:20
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Can someone enlighten a bit how the engine fire switch works on a380. Apologies beforehand if these questions are stupid. Does the engine switchdown depend on the hydraulics? Is there some redundancy or backup ways to send the switch-off command or just one path though the wing? Do other 4-holers handle the situation differently?
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