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A380 engine piece found in Groenland after 9 months

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A380 engine piece found in Groenland after 9 months

Old 2nd Jul 2019, 12:22
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A380 engine piece found in Groenland after 21 months

A 150 kg piece of the A380 engine 4 that experienced an uncontained engine failure over Groenland on 2017-09-30 was recovered under 4m of ice.
flightglobal's article
BEA's technical report (not yet updated)

Last edited by fgrieu; 2nd Jul 2019 at 16:28. Reason: Fix math in the title
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:05
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Now that's really impressive.

I really wonder if it is worth the effort and expense. Is the BEA footing the bill? Sure it would be interesting to understand the circumstances of the failure but I was not expecting so much energy into it.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:07
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Fantastic
Any details as to how they found it.
Magnetic anomaly equipment , maybe?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:09
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Fair point.
Is this engine installed on any twin?
If so I for one would like a fix!
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:20
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I do hope it is the part they were looking for
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:20
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4 metres of ice since 2017? I thought it was all melting.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:23
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
I really wonder if it is worth the effort and expense. Is the BEA footing the bill? Sure it would be interesting to understand the circumstances of the failure but I was not expecting so much energy into it.
The clue is in the second sentence of the report: "The BEA represents France, State of Operator, State of Registry and State of Design of the aircraft."
Politics...
EDIT: also striking when reading the report is how much use was made by BEA of Airbus resources and subsidiaries. Satellite imagery, ballistic calculations, even the plane carrying the synthetic aperture radar happened to be operated by an Airbus subsidiary.

Last edited by Joe_K; 2nd Jul 2019 at 14:03.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:24
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Wow, nice looking fan blades
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 13:36
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For various reason Airbus / BEA / GE really wanted this found.

They were doing magnetometer scans.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 14:01
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It's closer to 21 months, not 9 months... now that's persistence!
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 14:02
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The story popped up on my newsfeed late yesterday, so I somehow thought it had already been linked on PPRuNe: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...and-sn-459399/
BEA had recently disclosed that it was exploring various high-tech methods, including synthetic-aperture radar fitted to a Dassault Falcon 20 jet, in a bid to locate the parts.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 14:38
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Full story here (add https) eng.geus.dk/about/news/news-archive/2019/jul/missing-airplane-engine-part-found-by-geus-led-expeditions

Onera found magnetic anomalies from flights above the icepack, then danish picked it up.
I suppose the bill will be shared between GE/BEA/Airbus.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 16:39
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Up to 12 meter per year, and melting.

Here in Norway we at times have 12 meters of annual snow fall measured on Svartisen and Ålfotbreen glaciers.
All but a few are shrinking , mind you.
Soooo!
Airbus and Engine supplier are using to much cash on finding fault.
Hmmm.
What a tragedy!!

Last edited by BluSdUp; 2nd Jul 2019 at 16:40. Reason: last sentance
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:04
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A 150kg piece of metal....... could they not have used similar technology to find MH370?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:19
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
A 150kg piece of metal....... could they not have used similar technology to find MH370?
Not really comparable.

For one thing, the track of AF66 was known. the engine let go over land, and the parts were found under a few metres of snow, not several miles down in the ocean.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:20
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
A 150kg piece of metal....... could they not have used similar technology to find MH370?
well in this case they had a very well defined search area over ground... Not even close with MH370.

Still I'm baffled by the scope of the effort.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:30
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why the effort? maybe because this failure mode is not accounted for anywhere (thus perhaps counts as 1E-999) and possibly relevant beyond the A380 engine itself?
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:50
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Now that's really impressive.

I really wonder if it is worth the effort and expense. Is the BEA footing the bill? Sure it would be interesting to understand the circumstances of the failure but I was not expecting so much energy into it.
Most of you probably remember the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa, USA on 19/07/1989. That crash was caused by the uncontained failure of the tail-mounted No.2 engine. This failure disabled all three hydraulic systems, resulting in the loss of all conventional controls, leaving control only by engine nos. 1 and 3 throttles. Key to determining the cause of the uncontained engine failure was examination of the fan disk, which unfortunately departed the aircraft at 37,000 ft. above the Iowa cornfields. The manufacturer of the engine (CF6-6), General Electric, offered a reward of $50,000 for finding the disk, and it was found in an Iowa cornfield some 3 months after the crash. Examination of the fractured disk revealed a metallurgical flaw which occurred during production; however, it was further determined that the cracks which consequently developed, should have been detected in the course of subsequent operational inspections.

So, in short, the finding of the fan disk of the A380 engine was well worth the effort and may lead to a clear understanding of the cause of the uncontained engine failure.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 19:47
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Originally Posted by atakacs
Still I'm baffled by the scope of the effort.
There's a reason that so much of the aviation is as safe as it is......
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 22:48
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Originally Posted by compressor stall View Post
For various reason Airbus / BEA / GE really wanted this found.

They were doing magnetometer scans.
I would assume that since this was pretty clearly an engine failure, GE would be picking up the tab - if not all, at least the lions share. That's pretty standard procedure - when the cargo door blew out of the United 747 near Hawaii, Boeing spent a boatload of cash to find and recover the door so they could find out what went wrong and make sure it didn't happen again.

For design purposes, we assumed the probability of an uncontained engine failure (typically a rotor burst) at 10-8/hr, the current regulatory guidance requires a "one in twenty" analysis for rotor bursts - meaning the analysis needs to show that the probability of a rotor burst resulting in a catastrophic accident should be 5% or less.
However the engine company designs the rotors - especially the fan disc - to never fail. So, just like Sioux City, it's critically important to find out why it did fail so they can take appropriate action to prevent a future event.
BTW, IIRC, they traced the Sioux City fan disc failure to a flaw in the source material used to make the disc. There were nine other fan discs made from that same batch of material, which were promptly removed from service.
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