Debris from Qantas A380 engine severed cables-memo


Pilots struggled to shut down an engine on the Qantas A380 that made an emergency landing this month, because debris from the Rolls-Royce engine that broke up mid-flight severed cables.

Airbus told airlines in its latest technical bulletin on the incident that three “high-energy” turbine fragments flew out of the engine when it exploded, and two of these severed cables in the wing. The report, seen by Reuters on Thursday, said this explained why pilots could not immediately shut down a different engine after the plane landed in Singapore.

Airbus did not blame Qantas pilots or pinpoint a further cause for the accident beyond what Rolls-Royce has indentified as a problem with a component in the engine’s turbine, Reuters reports.

Earlier Sky News reported a memo sent to operators of A380 aircraft had revealed a “cascade of failures” aboard the Qantas plane. The bulletin seen by Reuters did not mention a cascade of failures although it did say the “crew had to manage a dynamic situation” as a result of damage from the explosion.
“The reason engine one could not be shut down has been determined: two segregated wiring routes were cut by two out of the three individual disk debris,” the bulletin said, before listing all systems that continued to operate in support of the crew.

It was not immediately clear if the report seen by Sky was the same as that handed to Reuters, although details quoted by the broadcaster were the same.

Shares in EADS and Rolls-Royce, which had been little changed ahead of the Sky report, initially dipped before quickly erasing their losses to trade broadly flat.

Qantas said earlier on Thursday that about 40 Rolls-Royce engines used in the world’s fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft may need to be replaced.