UPDATE: FAA Orders A380 Engine Inspections After Midair Failure, Emergency Landing
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday ordered visual inspections of some Airbus A380 superjumbo engines after one blew apart on a Los Angeles-bound flight last month.
It issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring owners and operators of Engine Alliance GP7200 series engines to visually inspect the engines and remove the fan hub if defects are found. The engines are manufactured by a 50-50 joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
A380 planes powered by the rival Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine are not affected by the order.
The FAA said the measure was prompted by the Sept. 30 failure of a fan hub on Air France flight AF66 over over Greenland which prompted an emergency landing in remote eastern Canada.
Such uncontained engine failures — in which machinery and other parts break away at high velocity — are rare. The FAA directive said the failure “could lead to an uncontained release of the fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane” midair.
Some parts of the engine were retrieved by helicopter in Greenland on Oct. 6 and dispatched to French accident investigators in Paris.
Five hundred passengers on the Paris-Los Angeles flight spent several hours aboard the stricken plane in Goose Bay, Labrador, awaiting a replacement aircraft.
EA declined immediate comment.
GP7200 engines account for 60 percent of the global market share of A380 engines currently in service, according to Corrine Png, the CEO of transport research firm Crucial Perspective.
In addition to Air France, the affected airlines include Emirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, as well as Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Korean Air Lines.
“An investigation to determine the cause of the failure is ongoing and we may consider additional rulemaking if final action is identified,” the FAA said in a statement.
Depending on the number of flight cycles, the inspections must be performed within the next two to eight weeks.
PASSENGERS have told of their terror after a plane’s engine seemingly fell to pieces mid-air.
The Air France A380 was reportedly travelling from Paris to Los Angeles when the engine failed.
The pilot was forced to divert to Goose Bay airport in Canada – prompting a nervous wait for those aboard.
One passenger tweeted that the engine had “blown apart” over the Atlantic.
Another said they heard a “loud thud and a lot of vibration” before looking out of the window to see the terrifying site.
Shocking images shared on social media show the plane’s mangled engine.
The passenger sharing one of the photos said: “I think the engine has seen better days.”
[REAL ATC] Air France A380 LOSES ENGINE COWLING over the Atlantic! #AF66
The engine cowling appears to have been completely ripped off, and what is left is severely battered.
Luckily the plane was able to land safely and passengers told of their relief after the aircraft touched down in one piece.
One tweeted he was “just glad to be on the ground”.
Air France said in a statement on social media: “AF66 landed safely. Customers taken care by Air France and rerouting solutions on going.
“Technical issue identified, AF66 diverting per precaution to Goose Bay YYR for technical checks.”
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March 12, 2012
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This is happening more frequently and there should be an investigation
I now of the problems and figuring out what the problem is, the hostin
I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering
Paul Blankenship · Top Commenter · School of Hard Knocks Mr. Shelton