Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter

Advertisement

Uncategorized

Nov 17, 2010

Share

redo titleThe Airbus presentation to accident investigators of the damage done to QF32 on November 4 gives new technical insights into this near disaster involving a Qantas A380 with 466 persons on board.

The examination of the damage is far from complete, as the presentation makes clear. It doesn’t deal with the other dimensions of this serious incident, which are the loss or impairment of various systems on the giant airliner, and the emerging difficulties the crew faced from fuel load imbalance caused by some of those failures.

The diagrams need to be compared to the photos shown later in this report
The diagrams need to be compared to the photos shown later in this report

page 4page 5

One thing needs to be kept firmly in mind. Rolls-Royce the maker of the Trent 900 engine which disintegrated knew about the faults that the current airworthiness directive concerning these engines says are likely to have caused an intense oil fire in a structural cavity in the intermediate pressure turbine area of the engine.

Rolls-Royce had designed and was introducing a fix for the oil leak issues for this into the engines at its own speed. Qantas was left in the dark. It is fair to suggest that Qantas needs to review relationships with engine manufacturers in which it pays for power by-the-hour and leaves much of the maintenance and oversight of those engines to the designer and manufacturer.

To emphasise the obvious. The interests of the engine maker and holder of the service agreements are not the same as those of the airline. A carrier might want to correct and replace inadequate design features to a different, more urgent timetable that the party that benefits from the support contract, and has its own brand image to protect.

damage 5page 6page 8

Some impact damage was done to underbelly and side of the A380
Some impact damage was done to underbelly and side of the A380

page 10The set of graphics shown above were accompanied by a brief written and photographic overview of the damage as currently assessed. damage 01

damage 02damage 03damage 04damage 06damage 07Reviewing these images makes it clear why Qantas was quick, and correct, in grounding its A380 fleet.

The wing  of the jet shows remarkable structural strength in sustaining damage that might have destroyed the airliners of earlier decades, but the questions as to whether control system revisions are necessary to deal with some of the consequences in terms of failed hydraulics and fuel imbalance are said to be very actively under consideration.

And the questions concerning the timeliness of the Rolls-Royce responses to a known problem, and its capacity and willingness to share them with the airlines concerned will not go away. If the engine maker doesn’t address them its customers will.

Advertisement

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

85 comments

Leave a comment

85 thoughts on “The Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster

  1. Russo

    Didn’t you get the memo?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/05/qantas-a380-engine-failure

    You’re supposed to keep this quite or you’ll help those dastardly American companies take market share from Rolls Royce. What are you, some sort of anti-British, anti-Colonialist Kenyan or something?

    Next time, check with Propaganda Central before posting anything or you will be sent to a penal colony in the Pacific.

    And call me sir, goddammit!

  2. Damage Worse Than Thought in Qantas Blowout | LIVENEWS.ME

    […] An Airbus slide show on the damage was published on Wednesday by an Australian journalist and blogger, Ben Sandilands. An official of the Australian pilots union, Richard Woodward, has described the cockpit scene to reporters. Some information has been posted by the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau. […]

  3. Damage Worse Than Thought in Qantas Explosion | 000031.196998.com

    […] who has been studying photographs and other information in wide circulation on the Internet. An Airbus slide show on the damage was published on Wednesday by an Australian journalist and blogger, Ben Sandilands. […]

  4. DrM

    Hi. Many people have asked why Qantas wants 40 completely new engines; why not just put the quick fix into them? And why are the other airlines flying with no concerns?

    May I suggest that Qantas has some 40 or so “original” engines. That many more fixes have been made over the years but not disclosed — until now. And that Qantas wants nothing to do with the original design engines? And that the other air carriers don’t have engines that are the original design?

  5. Damage Worse Than Thought in Qantas Blowout | Saigon News

    […] An Airbus slide show on the damage was published on Wednesday by an Australian journalist and blogger, Ben Sandilands. An official of the Australian pilots union, Richard Woodward, has described the cockpit scene to reporters. Some information has been posted by the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau. […]

  6. Mike_in_Kyiv

    I’m not a pilot but one of the folks who rides in the back. My wife and I have been discussing this accident and the news stories refer to fuel transfer problems – left, right and fore and aft due to the wiring being blown out. Pilots were particularly concerned that the stricken plane would get tail heavy and stall as they could not pump the fuel out of the vertical tail fin forward to the wing tanks. So how was this resolved in this instance? Also is there a manual valve that can be opened to dump the from the tail tank? Answer if you would to my email Mplynn@msn.com. Thanks.

  7. Ben Sandilands

    MIKE_IN_KYIV

    Airbus has released a document on control redundancy in the A380 and the QF32 incident, while I was again travelling and ‘disconnected’.

    It confirms my initial suspicion that the original rumour circulated about control problems on the jet while very serious, were not as set out in that rumour, which contains a few other inaccuracies that were immediately obvious on first reading. I shied away from giving those rumours prominence and focused instead on a 100% documentation of the physical damage.

    The document is quoted in full at the end of this response. It doesn’t deal with the fuel tank balance claims directly, but it makes a nonsense of some of the other claims, such as the distance travelled on landing at Changi. Given the comptency and coolness of the pilots who were on QF32, I think we can take it as a given that they were fully aware of the risk of impaired fuel transfers, and took them into account in the timing of their landing.

    At no time was this flight out of the ‘balance’ requirements for continued safe flight, and interestingly, in spite of the massive damage sustained, it remained under stable and deliberate control throughout.

    I do think we need to know more about the control issues, but we are clearly going to given the conduct of the inquiry and the fierce determination of Qantas not to resume flights in its A380s until every relevant aspect of a return to flight has been examined and documented.

    This is the Airbus release of information concerning the post engine distintegration events on QF32

    A380 / RR TRENT 900 – QANTAS VH-OQA INCIDENT ON 4th NOVEMBER 2010.

    FROM : AIRBUS FLIGHT SAFETY DEPARTMENT TOULOUSE

    Subject: A380 / RR Trent 900 – Qantas VH-OQA incident on 4th November 2010

    Our ref.: QF32 AIT 3, dated 17th November 2010

    This AIT is an update of the AIT 2 following the in-flight engine failure during flight QF32 from Singapore to Sydney, on 4th November 2010.

    This AIT has been approved for release by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) who leads the on-going ICAO Annex 13 investigation.

    The second RR inspection program applicable to the Trent 900 engine family and covered by EASA Engine Airworthiness Directive has been published allowing continuous operations of the fleet. Together with its partners, Airbus is providing support to the operators for engine logistics to minimize interruptions to the fleet.

    One single high energy fragment is considered from a certification requirement viewpoint. The damage assessment has established that the IPT disk released 3 different high energy fragments, resulting in some structural and systems damage, with associated ECAM warnings. Therefore the crew had to manage a dynamic situation.

    Despite the situation, amongst the various available systems supporting the crew to operate the aircraft and return safely to Singapore were:

    – Flaps remained available (slats were jammed retracted).

    – All flight control surfaces remained available on the pitch and yaw axis.

    – The roll control was ensured through: (a) on the left wing: inner aileron, spoilers 1, 3, 5 and 7; (b) on the right wing: mid and inner ailerons, spoilers 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

    – The flight control laws reverted to Alternate law due to the loss of the slats and of some roll control surfaces. Normal law was kept on longitudinal and lateral axes.

    – Flight envelope protections were still active.

    – The autopilot was kept engaged till about 700 feet Radio Altimeter, time at which the crew took over manually. Flight Directors were ON.

    – Manual control of engines 1, 3 & 4 was maintained till aircraft stop.

    – Landing in SIN took place about 1 hour 40 minutes after the engine 2 failure with flaps in
    configuration 3.

    – Normal braking was available on both body landing gears with antiskid, and alternate braking without antiskid on both wing landing gears. The crew modulated braking in order to stop close to emergency services.

    – After the aircraft came to a stop, the reason engine 1 could not be shut down has been determined: 2 segregated wiring routes were cut by 2 out of the 3 individual disk debris.

    Airbus continues to work in support of the on-going investigation to complete the detailed analysis.

    An update to operators will be provided as soon as further consolidated information is available.

  8. Damage Worse Than Thought in Qantas Blowout | Asia Top News

    […] An Airbus slide show on the damage was published on Wednesday by an Australian journalist and blogger, Ben Sandilands. An official of the Australian pilots union, Richard Woodward, has described the cockpit scene to reporters. Some information has been posted by the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau. […]

  9. A380 ohne Triebwerksausfall selbst fliegen | Mein Leben aus dem Koffer

    […] Details haben möchten, kann ich euch den “Plane Talking”-Blog empfehlen, der eine schöne Informationssammlung über den Zwischenfall zusammengetragen […]

  10. Victor

    Thanks for a fantastic insight Ben. I am an aviation industry observer. I have taken the introductory flight for my private pilots licence, but to date have not taken it any further…yet! Aside from that I travel up the back with the rest of them! It seems to me a question that I haven`t seen a response to yet is why “didn`t” the fuel catch fire in this instance? The Concorde crash in Paris comes to mind.

  11. airfoil

    Historically, Rolls has had to combat oil system ‘hiding’ issues with the following:

    RB211 / L1011;
    Trent 500 / A340-500/600’s;
    Trent 700 / A330;
    Trent 900 / A380.

  12. airfoil

    The Trent 900 series is not a mature design since it has had so many failures.

    SQ has already suffered two IFSDs with the Trent 900 and 12 engines removed from the wing for premature strip downs due to anomolies.

    This grounding of three airline’s A380s shows it is an systemic Trent 970/972 family issue and not a specific operator issue.

    The lack of maturity of the Trent 900 series engine must be of great concern.

    1. Qantas A388 near Singapore on Nov 4th 2010, uncontained engine failure

    2. Lufthansa A388 near Frankfurt on Aug 6th 2010, engine shut down in flight

    3. Singapore A388 near Krakow on Sep 27th 2009, engine shut down in flight

    4. Singapore A388 near London on May 25th 2009, engine failure

  13. travelnewssearch.com » Blog Archive » a380 engine failure engines failed

    […] The Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster – Plane Talking This implies, I think, that Rolls Royce knew that the current component was liable to leak oil with potentiallly catastrophic effects but failed to inform the regulatory bodies of the risk, as they are obliged to do, and as they actually do on a …. After a series of engine failures caused by failure of the gearbox drive lubrication in the RR Trents, the fleet was grounded for around a month. The fault was known to RR and had been rectified in later production engines, … Jan 01, 1970 12:00am […]

  14. Aero Eng Aviator

    So far no comment on the hole in the front spar. This damage is not shown on the blog but photos have been doing the rounds and is indicated by the major projectile trajectory path shown in a diagram above. From the photos I have seen I can’t judge the size of the hole but it would significantly reduce the torsional stiffness and strength as well as the bending stiffness and strength of the wing between ribs 9 and 10. The wing box now being an open tube instead of a closed tube as designed at that section which is not too far from the fuselage. This again is an indication of good damage tolerant design in that the wing held together well in the air and during a wild landing. Or was that just luck too?

    I remember seeing a photo of an A380 wing spar after manufacture where it had been milled from one very long piece of aluminium alloy extending from the wing root to the tip. It doesn’t look like it lends itself easily to load path repair or continuity of stiffness. Does this mean a complete spar or wing replacement?

  15. chelusam

    I have lost all confidence in airbus. How could they have designed an aircraft so vulnerable to disc failure? How could they have designed critical systems in the plane of the discs? It’s not ‘rocket’ science ya know!

  16. Airbus & Boeing Ready to Forget Post-Halloween Nightmares | WebFeeder

    […] thorough explanation of the damage, including pictures of the resulting holes in the wings can be found here. Damage to the wing was extensive and repairs are expected to cost around $70 million. The […]

  17. Tech & Science » Airbus, Boeing Eager to Forget Post-Halloween Nightmares

    […] thorough explanation of the damage, including pictures of the resulting holes in the wings can be found here. Damage to the wing was extensive and repairs are expected to cost around $70 million. The […]

  18. EjeCentral : Más sobre el futuro de la prensa « Los personajes y los temas

    […] a los periódicos que sí han seguido cubriendo el desarrollo de la noticia, sino blogs que ofrecen reportes con fotografías incluidas sobre lo cerca que estuvo ese vuelo de convertirse en […]

  19. Airbus, Boeing Eager to Forget Post-Halloween Nightmares

    […] consummate reason of a damage, including cinema of a ensuing holes in a wings can be found here. Damage to a wing was endless and repairs are approaching to cost around $70 million. The […]

  20. Incredible insights into the saving of QF32 revealed in the ATSB preliminary report – Plane Talking

    […] graphics found in the Airbus report of the damage to the A380 which appeared first in the media in this report in Plane […]

  21. Uwe

    Well, DWS10, you can stamp your foot all you want 😉

    Nonetheless, the research basics for what later would be
    christened “(Whitcombe) area rule” were made in Germany
    in the final WWII years.
    If you would like to fix your “knowledge” you could start
    here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_rule#History

  22. The Infonomics Letter – Noviembre/Diciembre de 2010 « Gestión de Valor Inversiones IT

    […] elementos del fracaso y sus consecuencias inmediatas está analizándose rigurosamente. Hay varias fotografías asombrosas disponibles, se muestran los daños en la aeronave y las pruebas del rigor de la […]

  23. Buy Cheap A340-500/600 Expansion for MS Flight Simulator X/2004 Online Shop

    […] #The Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster – Plane Talking […]

  24. T

    […] o A380 da Qantas, aconselho a ler este: The Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster – Plane Talking …. e este….. EXCLUSIVE – Qantas QF32 flight from the cockpit | Aerospace Insight | The Royal […]

  25. Top 10 Airport Stories of 2010 | LateDeparture.com

    […] airport (IATA: SIN) where the damaged aircraft returned to for an emergency landing. Check this blog for a very (and I mean very!) detailed description of the damages and what happened. (Photo by […]

  26. Interested Party

    Thank you Ben,
    I’ve been following your posts and the comments/replies with great interest, I don’t know how you ‘scoop’ these stories but it really is a pleasure to have facts presented without the spin. Cheers!

    Hello chelusam
    You have attempted to bring a very informed and intelligent discussion on this subject down to your level. This is not a subject that requires your input or your opinions.

    Are you a troll?
    You are, aren’t you?

  27. Qantas A380s, the Pacific and the real story – Plane Talking

    […] an engine so seriously compromised that it nearly caused massive loss of live on November 4, when one of them disintegrated on the A380 operating QF 32 shortly after it left Singapore for Sydney on November 4, putting the […]

  28. safety at qantas

    […] leaves much of the maintenance and oversight of those engines to the designer and manufacturer. The Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster – Plane Talking Roll-Royce makes “progress” on QF32 investigations | Australian Aviation Magazine […]

  29. How Big Is Too Big? The JFK Airbus Accident Prompts Questions - John Giuffo - Small World, Big Mouth - Forbes

    […] isn’t the first time the super jumbo jet has garnered controversy. Last November, a Qantas A380 made an emergency landing in Singapore after an in-flight engine explosion, although it was the first time that model […]

  30. New Aircraft are Key to Renewed Growth in the North American Ground-based Flight Simulators and Simulation Solutions MarketBest Flight Simulator Software

    […] try{jQuery.noConflict();}catch(e){}; var acmSettings = { capture_clicks: 1, query_id:'3703', click_precision: 1, group_points: 3, point_size: 5, box_size: 3, rel_precision: 5, ajax_url: 'http://bestflightsimulatorsoftware.com/', inner_text_max_length: 64, max_intensity: 0.9, min_intensity: 0.3 }; #split {}#single {}#splitalign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#singlealign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#splittitlebox {text-align: center;}#singletitlebox {text-align: center;}.linkboxtext {line-height: 1.4em;}.linkboxcontainer {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;background-color:#eeeeee;border-color:#000000;border-width:0px; border-style:solid;}.linkboxdisplay {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;}.linkboxdisplay td {text-align: center;}.linkboxdisplay a:link {text-decoration: none;}.linkboxdisplay a:hover {text-decoration: underline;} function opensingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = ''; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = 'none'; } function closesingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = 'none'; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = ''; } Flight Simulator PC GamesHow To Pick The Finest Flight Simulator GameGraphics AcceleratorMedical Simulation: Beyond Training DummiesX-Plane 9 Formation FlightThe Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster […]

  31. A380 Aircraft Pictures | Airplane Prints

    […] 7,000th Airbus Aircraft Delivered at Flightstory.net – Aviation Blog, News & StoriesThe Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster […]

  32. Flight Simulator 2004 – Qantas Airbus 380 Take off |

    […] Eureka, and Flight Simulator 2004 in 3DMicrosoft Flight Simulator 2004Flight Simulator X – FS2004/FSX Qantas Airways Airbus A380-841, registration VH-OQLFlight Simulator X SkySpirit 2011 – FSX Boeing 747-451 Lufthansa D-ABVHDünyanın en büyük uçağı olan Airbus 380, Ä°stanbul’a geliyorHeavy duty scoresHD Cockpit Video – Airbus A380 Night Departure at Flightstory.net – Aviation Blog, News & StoriesThe Anatomy of the Airbus A380 QF32 near disaster […]

  33. Airbus, Boeing Eager to Forget Post-Halloween Nightmares | Autopia | Wired

    […] thorough explanation of the damage, including pictures of the resulting holes in the wings can be found here. Damage to the wing was extensive and repairs are expected to cost around $70 million. The […]

Leave a comment

Advertisement

https://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/17/the-anatomy-of-the-airbus-a380-qf32-near-disaster/ == https://www.crikey.com.au/free-trial/==https://www.crikey.com.au/subscribe/

Show popup

Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

Free Trial form on Pop Up

Free Trial form on Pop Up
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.