Emirates A380s have two engine failures in two days … but
Last night’s engine failure on an Emirates A380 comparatively soon after taking off from Sydney for the 14 hours 20 minutes or so stage to Dubai was the second engine incident for one of its giant Airbuses in two days.
On Saturday the Emirates A380 service from Dubai to JFK diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport at Paris after the pilots elected to shut down one of its engines while over Slovakia.
No additional description of that shut down has been reported, while the Sydney incident is factually reported by a Sydney Morning Herald journalist who was onboard, and who describes a brief bright light and a shock wave felt inside the cabin.
The engine shutdowns, involving the Engine Alliance power plant that has been chosen by most A380 customers over the Rolls-Royce engine type used by Qantas and Singapore Airlines, may be unrelated.
We don’t know if the cause was the same or different.
What we can say however is that neither incident disrupted the control of the aircraft, as occurred after the catastrophic disintegration of a Rolls-Royce engine on the Qantas A380 which had just departed from Singapore for Sydney on 4 November 2010, causing a critical emergency which ended hours later after the pilots dealt with serious issues arising from the loss of half the jet’s hydraulic systems and the severing of control lines and other critical impairments.
Had the Emirates incidents involved severe damage of the type that affected the Qantas flight, the flight over Europe would have called May Day and headed for the nearest of many airports that were closer than Paris and equipped with emergency rescue and fire fighting equipment. The Dubai flight that had left Sydney would have also headed back to Sydney very promptly and as fast as it prudently could have been flown.
By coincidence, Emirates also shut down one of the engines on a Boeing 777-300ER twin engined airliner on Saturday while it was near Mumbai on a Bangkok-Dubai sector. The pilots reported indications of a fire in the engine and deployed its fire suppression equipment. An emergency landing was made at Mumbai, but there was no sign of fire found when the engine was inspected.