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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

Old 16th Nov 2010, 13:21
  #1021 (permalink)  
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Not sure if this has been posted, and unattributed, but chucked onto the fire for good measure:

"The #2 engine has a hole in the middle of it where the turbine should be. There are 3 known exit points.
One is the front spar, a hole big enough to stick your head thru. They expect to find the turbine disc in the fuel tank. This also took out the electrical harness to #1 eng. #1 engine went to last commanded power setting( climb thrust) and stayed that way until it was drowned by the fire-fighters foam. They tried water for 2 hours prior. No chance to wash the foam out of #1 eng, so it will probably be left to corrode.
No known repair for front spar damage.

The 2nd piece entered wing lower skin and exited top skin. This just missed top of fuse on its journey. Just like the Concorde but without the flame. No repair schemes avail due to internal composite ribs.

The 3rd piece (disc) went horizontal, bouncing on wing lower surface towards #3 eng. This took out wing to body fairings, aircon unit & hyd lines and managed to stay below the pressure vessel. (My added)

Latest is the horizontal stab is bent due to landing with 20t of fuel in it. No quick fix their either.

Rumour has it; it may be disassembled & shipped back to the factory for a rebirth."
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 14:18
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I really don't know whether we should laugh or cry... think I'm in some sort of stasis as to what to think. What I do know, however +vely anyone looks at it as a good aircraft to survive - is almost certainly, from any angle, it was...

a fantastic day for lady luck
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 14:20
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lomapaseo:

Terrific photos. Now if only one can be found showing the LE just inboard of #2.

BTW - the earlier photo of the hole in the spar web is interesting, in that the spar CAP appears intact. The spar cap is the most critical area.

My initial guess is that a heavy patch over that hole, with some reinforcing angle stock, would make the bird structurally sound for a ferry back to TLS. Of course, upper/lower skin patches would also be needed, as well as all the systems repair. But weight control should be the LOWEST priority for the patching crew, given that the wing will be soon scrapped.

signed,
"Lucky" barit1
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 14:46
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John Goglia, ex-NTSB member, was reported in the press as suggesting that it was possible that they could have lost a wing due to debris impact.

A couple of comments from a colleague who knows about these things.

There are three spars in the A380 wing. The front spar carries about 5% of the load. And it is the spar cap, not the web, which is crucial. The certification criteria are relevant: "Acceptable Means of Compliance" requires tear straps and shear ties within the "debris zone" (defined as a region inside 5° from the plane of the disc) to prevent "catastrophic" structural damage, where "catastrophic" means here the inability to withstand 1.75g or 20fps gusts up to V_c, and no dangerous reduction in freedom from flutter up to V_c/M_c.

So if major damage is confined to the front spar, I imagine the AC would be ferriable with some patching.

PBL
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 15:00
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380 experience

quote Bleve
"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."
I would rather say that there were on board three experienced pilots with limited A380 exposure. The whole crew combined had less time on the 380 than a single average 747 pilot. They managed to get out of a twilight zone that neither Airbus nor RR had envisioned in their wildest nightmares.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 15:04
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"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."

I assume everybody's ignoring this because if there WAS fire it would have turned into a fireball/explosion pretty quickly. Perhaps you saw something else instead?
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 15:06
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Time issue

"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."

I totally agree with the above, nobody is criticising the QF32 crew but the opposite. They did certainly a fantastic job according to the facts and data available to them under a very difficult combination of faults.
The main crucial question is: did they actually know that the damage was so severe?
We now all know (very easy for us!) but did the flying crew know the precise details of the damage at the most important time?
I tend to think that they did not know.
It is not in fact officially confirmed that the guys at the front were clearly told in detail about the visible damage, as seen by the lower and/or upper deck.
Even if one of them went to have a look we cannot be 100% sure that his eyes saw the full extent of the damage.
Maybe one pilot had a look outside and it all seemed about fine due to the wrong point of view or even lack of visibility.
Pure speculation of course but how often pilots have realised of real entity of damage only once on the ground even if they had visually checked through the pax windows during flight? Very often.
Despite all technology available on this great machine the software is not really designed to assess and describe damages of this type directly into the cockpit. So it is likely the real extent of the damage was unknown to them.
I personally do not think they were fully aware of the extent of the damage, I mean if a pilot of any aircraft type sees a large hole in his wing wouldn't he try to be safely on the ground as soon as possible with a MAYDAY?

Was this a case of "time spent in the air increases the risk of catastrophic failure" or not? This is the question.
Looking at the damage now, the answer can be only "yes absolutely!", with a hole like that in your wing you do not want to waste precious time in the air, do you?

They clearly did not think that time was an issue simply because they probably did not know about the gravity of the damage.
I think we all agree on this, I mean I cannot believe that they clearly saw the damage and then decided to follow all procedures as if this was a straight forward contained failure without wing damage.
This is not intended as criticism of the crew but exactly the opposite, they obviously did not have full visual details of the damage and they reacted accordingly.
If they would have had those pictures posted earlier delivered straight to the cockpit I do not think they would have followed the same lenghty procedures before landing.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 15:20
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BOAC

Not sure where your source is for the so called facts. But I seriously doubt that many of them are sustainable as fact.

We have lots of "what ifs" and hand wringing in this forum but the juicy stuff is what has attribution from experts in their field
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 15:34
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ILS27L

Looking at the damage now, the answer can be only "yes absolutely!", with a hole like that in your wing you do not want to waste precious time in the air, do you?
I'll disagree with you. Engine goes bang, bits fly out, make various holes in important and unimportant bits of aeroplane. Hole in skin pretty unimportant, hole in spar more important structurally.

However, where I would disagree is the time aspect. If the aircraft is structurally compromised e.g. spar damaged so badly it will fail, IMHO it would almost certainly fail there and then. The pax above confirms the hole was not getting bigger, and even then, skin tearing back is designed to occur to a "stop line" (Aloha).

If they would have had those pictures posted earlier delivered straight to the cockpit I do not think they would have followed the same lenghty procedures before landing
Again, disagree. As an airline Capt I can 100% say significant, but static damage is a non-time critical emergency.

They clearly did not think that time was an issue simply because they probably did not know about the gravity of the damage.
I am not sure what this "grave damage" is? The system failures they knew about (e.g. Hyd, Elec, Fuel). The structural they did not know exactly, but did know there probably was some (hole in wing, extensive systems failed). What has not been discussed, which might have been uppermost in some peoples' minds, was liasion with engineering, either airline and/or manufacturer. The spar web has a hole, not a big deal. Spar Cap (as above) would have been more worrying.

Summary:
I mean if a pilot of any aircraft type sees a large hole in his wing wouldn't he try to be safely on the ground as soon as possible with a MAYDAY?
No - not me And crucially your statment is loaded - of course he wants to be "safely" on the ground, but achieving that is difficult / impossible. It is (relatively) safely flying, landing it is far from safe, and if it did use all bar 100m of runway, then I suspect any haste may have made the landing far more hazardous than it was.

I am not sure of your background/experience? But emergency handling in the sim is far more about planning approaches, and "what if's" than rushing through checklists and getting things on the ground. It's about going over what you have diagnosed a few times, briefing etc. Once the approach starts, you might be making irreversible steps, and you somewhat lose control over the timing. You sometimes only have 1 shot to get it right, they did

NoD
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 16:16
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I favour the view that the crew did the right thing to delay the landing while they assessed the situation and dumped fuel to reduce their landing weight. I believe the passenger's post earlier confirmed that a crew member examined the wing damage from a window. They could see the top skin had been punctured and had some idea of the damage size; they would also know that fuel was leaking. They would not of course know that the spar had also been damaged. The aircraft was clearly flying at this stage thus they knew there was sufficient residual strength in the structure to support the aircraft (at least in 1G flight). Presumably they would have assessed the weather and would know if they were likely to encounter rough or turbulent conditions (which could increase the loads and therefore the risk of structural failure).

What they also knew for certain was that to land the aircraft significantly overweight increased the risk of an overrun and possible break up, in the presence of a punctured fuel tank and the obvious fire hazard. Remaining in the air and dumping fuel both reduced the structural loads but more importantly gave them a better chance of a successful landing.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 16:57
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lomapaseo

Not sure where your source is for the so called facts. But I seriously doubt that many of them are sustainable as fact.
Curious, which of the 'facts' do you take issue with?
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 17:04
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I am aware that in many cased RR do not 'sell' the engines to the operators but supply them on a sort of lease agreement In this case the operator would not actually own the engine themselves with obvious reduced financial liability relative to failures etc.
Does anyone know what the situation was in this instance, was the engine owned by Quantas or by RR?
If this has been clarified before, sorry but I must have missed it.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 17:26
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Yes, stated before and seem to remember, leased per hour
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 17:56
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Quote by Musicrab: ''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? ''

The only common link between the two engine failures (T1000 & T900) is that oil has been instrumental in causing each failure. There are other much different contributory factors in the T1000 incident, hence R-R are telling the truth.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 18:03
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"There are other much different contributory factors in the T1000 incident [compared with T900 indicdent], hence R-R are telling the truth."

Thanks. Does this mean the leaking oil came from different sources or came from the same sources but for different reasons?
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 18:09
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Quote from ATC09:
''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."

Nothing could be further from the truth and the statement is pure speculation. Yes there was an uncontained failure, but only a few turbine blades were shed, and then in a rearwards direction as is normal with this type of incident. Both the IPT disc and shaft remained contained.

What is not common knowledge to a large number of the public is that development engines are constantly run well in excess of service conditions for extended periods of time, thus failures can be a common occurrence dependant on the type of information required.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 18:19
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Musicrab, It would be irresponsible of me to give a detailed answer to that sort of question on a public forum, sorry.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 18:20
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I assume everybody's ignoring this because if there WAS fire it would have turned into a fireball/explosion pretty quickly. Perhaps you saw something else instead?
You watch too many Holywood movies. Kerosine is not that quick to burn or explode (needs heating till ~50°C to get enough vapour to burn at sea level, higher temperatures at altitude.) Furthermore, it is hard to keep a flame going in "winds" of 300 knots, but that does not rule out that a small fire in a shielded area may sustain itself. Apparently the plane leaked enough JetA for the fire to extinguish from lack of fuel.

I also am sure that the ATSB will investigate the issue and its report promises to be interesting reading for several reasons.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 19:17
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As simple SLF always slightly anxious about big planes with only two engines can I eagerly look forward to big planes going back to 4 engines each not having to work so hard to get the things into the sky?

Or not.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 19:18
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Would it not be true to say that any part of the turbine, especially a blade, would have been at red heat when it went through the wing and could well have started a fuel fire, albeit one which was subsequently blown out by the wind. Had the fire been sustained a very quick landing would have been in order!
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