After sifting through Airbus's presentation to accident investigators, Ben Sandilands of Plane Talking has compiled a superb summary of damage caused recently when a Qantas A380 suffered an uncontained engine failure -- an incident which resulted in significant damage to the aircraft's wing, and which could have easily ended in tragedy for the 466 people who were aboard the stricken plane.
Sandilands says that A380 engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce was aware of the problem well in advance of the Qantas incident. Yet as a result of maintenance contracts that also designated Rolls-Royce as the primary service provider for the engines, the engine-maker felt little urgency in performing the modifications that might have prevented this:
Reviewing 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.
Indeed. The entire post is a sobering read.
IMAGES: Top, AP. Report photos via Plane Talk