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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

Old 16th Nov 2010, 08:56
  #1001 (permalink)  
 
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I've been tracking what RR knew about the bearing box. If RR say there's no link between the 1000 and 900 failures, who's going to argue? This sort of info won't be available in the public domain unless a RR employee spills the beans. And security at Derby will be VERY tight at the moment.

It would again be nice to know when the bearing box design change was made and approved by EASA (I've seen one report that EASA hasn't approved any bearing box changes!). The fact that current RR 900 prod. line engines HAVE the h/w mod (don't know about any s/w mod) says that the design decision happened a while ago. Again, we'll only hear anything about this if a RR employee leaks something or EASA says something.

I would like to think that the bearing box mod was made as a natural design/development improvement. It was believed to be X% reliable and the new one is believed to be >X% reliable. Whatever "X" is we will never know unfortunately.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 09:10
  #1002 (permalink)  
 
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Cabin? (looming decompression).
@Gretchenfrage

Didn't it happen 6 minutes after take-off?
Which altitude does this mean?
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 09:22
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Shot down so diligently as you shoot down the skill/decisions of 5 professional aviators (whose lives depend upon their actions); alas they had no ability to contact you for advice on how to proceed with such an easy decision tree during their brief combat mission??
DearSKS777FLYER

Very balanced post, I must say.
Simply reread my statement and you will see that I didn’t shoot down anyone.

To me the crew might have been very professional, at least the modern electronic way. But at the same time they must have been very, very lucky.
I'd rather be a little less proficient in handling ECAM, QRH, FCOM, bulletins and all that paper cr@p and get my plane down as fast as possible.
Maybe you’re upset that I pretended that they MUST have been lucky. So be it, but that is not a shooting down of a colleague.
If you’re pointing at me saying that I’d RATHER be a little less book bound, again, so be it, but that did not imply any insult to others.

If you point at someone, then three fingers point back at you.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 09:29
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picture of 4in vent pipe, not fuel feed pipe
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 09:35
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Mrdeux...your understanding is correct...thats why the airplane I am familiar with, the B737NG, has separate small battery packs to power these important shutoff valves in the case of a complete power failure.

Islandjumper...my guess is that they were referring to the speed brakes (or spoilers), since the loss of one of the hydraulic systems caused the loss of half the spoiler capability...as demonstrated in the video out the window during the landing.

Cheers,
EW73
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:03
  #1006 (permalink)  
 
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Why are many of you so critical of Gretschenfrage's posts? He is not being at all critical of the QF32 crew, but is merely asking a question. Given how severe the damage turned out to be, I can understand that getting down asap could be desirable.

Does anyone know if the cabin crew reported to the flight deck that fuel was gushing out of the wing? And that the wing appeared to be damage? As the eyes and ears down the back, I think it would be pretty important to convey something like this to the flight deck.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:23
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Does anyone know if the cabin crew reported to the flight deck that fuel was gushing out of the wing? And that the wing appeared to be damage? As the eyes and ears down the back, I think it would be pretty important to convey something like this to the flight deck.

Mention was made in the media that a flightdeck member came down the back and looked out . Not 100% certain this was factual though.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:28
  #1008 (permalink)  
 
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Why are many of you so critical of Gretschenfrage's posts? He is not being at all critical of the QF32 crew, but is merely asking a question. Given how severe the damage turned out to be, I can understand that getting down asap could be desirable.
Maybe because "getting down asap" was what they actually did? The aeroplane was getting lighter by the minute and they were holding very close to the airfield, should the need for an *immediate* approach have materialised. If they had attempted to land much earlier, they'd have been odds-on for a significant overrun which could have turned an incident into an major accident, possibly with extensive loss of life. In the end they DID decide to cut short preparations and go for an approach, which shows they were monitoring the situation and made a final decision based on that.

I don't think this is the same class of mishap as the Swissair, as they were faced with an uncontrollable rapid development of smoke and/or fire inside the aircraft. Here there was a set of multiple failures and problems, many subtly interlinked, which required a lot of problem solving and intelligent use of checklists to get to the stage where a safe landing was reasonably assured.

Yes, there are times when you've just got to get the damn thing on the ground but in this circumstance, I'm grateful that cool heads prevailed.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:33
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"Does anyone know if the cabin crew reported to the flight deck that fuel was gushing out of the wing? And that the wing appeared to be damage?"

It was reported that one of the training pilots went back into the cabin and reported the wing damage... Close to Disaster: Qantas A380 Sustained Worse Damage than First Thought - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:33
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Thanks for your response FullWings. A calm, informative response like that is what I expect. Some of the responses to Gretchenfrage's posts were very childish and ugly.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:34
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Anyone know what are these brake flaps that the media keeps referring to?
I believe it's the media, not fully understanding how an aircraft works, translating what they are told into something they do understand.

ie: Company spokesperson says something along the lines of: 'The flaps were damaged ..... the flaps are used to slow the aircraft down for landing.' The Journo (thinking in terms of the car in which they drove to work) makes the connection: flaps are used to slow down, therefore flaps must be some sort of fancy brakes, thus 'Brake Flaps'.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:42
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On the day, Captain Richard de Crespigny and his crew were faced with an unprecedented failure, and consequent set of circumstances. From being an A380 Captain, our gallant Captain was, all of a sudden, a Test Pilot. With only the ECAM, his knowledge, his experience and his ability to guide him, he controlled that errant aircraft and flew it to a successful and safe landing. Bravo Zulu in Spades.

Anybody who criticises Captain de Crespigny's myriad decisions on the day, or says that he should have landed sooner, quite simply has no knowledge, no understanding nor experience of handling Very Large Aircraft.

Go back to your armchairs.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:56
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Not to take anything away from Captain R de C, but lets not forget that he was fortunate enough to have 2 other experienced A380 Captains on the flightdeck to assist him. eg The PA that was recorded by one of the pax and passed onto the media, was made by one of the supernumery Captains.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 10:56
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It's a pity that some on here are critical of the flight crews delay in landing. The delay was part of their decision processes. They could very easily have done a 180 and banged it into Changi. They chose not to - and the outcome speaks for itself.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 11:17
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Rectifying the wing

Newbie non-techo warning:

Firstly kudos to the QANTAS crew. Now that SafferNZ has posted the wing pics can anyone take a punt on if it is patchable to get back to Toulouse if the engines #1 & #2 were replaced?

If it isn't repairable then would the new wing need to come by sea (Toulouse not known for its beaches) or could it be airlifted?

Skillsy
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 11:26
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How do you think the wings get from the UK (where they are made) to TLS? Answer: they go by ship as far as they can and then truck.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 12:05
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Wing damage

referring to my earlier picture on wing damage as a passenger on QF32, here my observations, which are not based on speculation

1-the hole in the wing had exactly the same size from right after the explosion to landing. It never "grew bigger".

2-fuel leak: after the explosion a flame came out of the circular hole. Flame height appx. the diameter of the hole (min. 70-80cm, maybe even larger). Until gradually dying down, after about 6 minutes it was for another 5 minutes visibly burning IN the wing. I am sure, the investigation will shed light on the source of that fire.

3-SO was on the upper deck for a view, but only after the fire had died down - at least on the wing surface
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 12:30
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From Post 1001

Thanks to Poster


























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Old 16th Nov 2010, 12:57
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Not Surprized

You are absolutely right. It is not a surprize to RR. Maybe shouldn't be a surprize to us too if we follow RR a bit closer. Below is from "Asian Aviation" for talking 787 testing... Trent 1000 involved, offcourse: "... on 2 August, Rolls-Royce had suffered an uncontained failure involving a ‘Package A’-standard Trent 1000 destined to power 787 No 9. Unofficial reports suggest an oil fire had developed in the engine during high-power runs, softening the intermediate pressure (IP) shaft. A consequent shaft failure is understood to have permitted the IP turbine (IPT) to over-speed and disintegrate. Shed parts punctured the engine casing, damaging test equipment." Change Trent 1000 to Trent 900; change "test equipment" to "QANTAS A380", oh, don't forget the date too. Then you have an initial investegation report.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 13:04
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The pics had not come up for me due to a link issue it appears. Thanks so much for the repost in #1024.

Awesome.

@Gretchenfrage:
We used to have a disclaimer in the NATOPS manuals when I flew in the Navy, along the lines of "NATOPS is not a suitable substitute for sound judgment." Unfortunately, your assertion of what "land asap" implies is not indicative of sound judgment. Your referring to a different incident which was not identical to this situation is a red herring. Each malfunction, particularly one as novel as the one in this thread, has its own logic and set of choices as the aircraft commander/captain makes decisions regarding safety of flight.

A few points for you to ponder:

A number of witnesses to the event have discussed how they saw members of the flight crew inspect visually what they could of the wing that had undertaken damage. What either of us can safely assume is that the cockpit crew closely examined all of the cockpit indications, and external input they had available to them, as they determined what course of action to take.

The cockpit crew had a variety of input -- what pressures and temps were, what fuel load was, how the aircraft was flying, and a whole host of diagnostics to consider as they applied their sound judgment to their situation.

As we used to teach in the Navy, decision to end a mission and land due to some malfunction breaks down into three sub categories:

Land immediately.
Land as soon as possible
Land as soon as practicable.

The first is applied when each bit of time spent in the air increases the risk of catastrophic failure. See a helicopter with a main transmission beginning to vibrate/grind/come apart for a fine example. After reading the recent UPS thread, I think an aircraft fire (versus an engine fire that does not spread, but is rather put out via established procedures) would probably be classed in a similar mode, particularly when one cannot extinguish/fight the fire.

Land as soon as possible: a bit less dire, but typically applied when a malfunction has significant potential to lead to a land immediately, or to lead to other failures. A significant number of malfunctions will get classed in this way depending upon system that is broken, flight regime, mission, and cargo/passenger load. Example, if you have one malfunction (high engine oil temp) and see secondary indications (engine chips, low engine oil pressure in a single engine aircraft) you get the plane down before it gets worse/lost, and becomes either an emergency or a worse problem.

Land as soon as practicable: in multi-engine aircraft, if you lose one engine you typically have another, or in this case multiple others, that allow you to keep flying. You then assess your situation, and see how much worse it is getting, or may get, as you reconfigure your mission and profile to account for the malfunction. Simply losing an engine might not mean an abort, depending on mission and time, but in this case further damage indicated a return to base. If the aircraft is still flying and the evidence available is that further damage has stopped -- though a few systems are degraded -- there is no requirement to GET IT DOWN NOW if doing so adds another risk (possibly not enough runway) unless you have data that tells the crew that they can expect the situation to degrade further.

With that in mind, it appears that land as soon as practicable was chosen thanks to the sound judgment exercised by the cockpit crew. They diagnosed a multi-system failure and, with the safety of their precious cargo -- passengers -- firmly in mind. They did their best NOT to turn an inflight malfunction into a dire landing emergency. They instead applied airmanship (which includes judgment) to a flying problem, and successfully returned their passengers to terra firma, unharmed.

Your initial assertion assumed a time criticality out of thin air: time is a factor, a variable, in any attempt to deal with a malfunction, or emergency, in flight. Why you have chosen to assign a very small quantity to that variable strikes me as little more than a drama generating device.
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