EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Qantas A380 Scare: Aviation Alert

  • November 5th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

airbus-a380.jpgAviation engineers and safety personnel have scrambled to Singapore and the nearby Indonesian Island of Batam to probe a destructive engine failure (4.11.10) on a Qantas flight out of Singapore.


airbus-sky-news.jpgPassengers heard two explosive sounds and saw pieces fly off the engine casing as pilots on the Airbus 380  – the world’s largest airliner – responded to warning messages and turned the aircraft back to land safely at Changi.

Pilots and engineers have been pointing to the importance of the “uncontained engine failure”; not quite a devastating explosion, the break-down did shatter a heavy canopy meant to stop pieces flying off and endangering the aircraft structure.

Pieces rained down on Batam Island, some crashing into a school, with a child injured; the two-decker aircraft was carrying  459 passengers and crew.


airbus-logo.jpgQantas has grounded all six A380s in its service, but this was one of the first to start carrying passengers, and there is now a total of 37 on scheduled flights – the other airlines being Air France-KLM, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore. Hundreds more A380s are on order.

The aircraft has been taking off commercially; Deutsche Welle today .reprising its coverage from the Farnborough Air Show last July, when buyers lined up to sign orders  on location.

“The Franco-German company Airbus was positively bullish after selling 130 planes and securing pledges for the future purchase of a further 122 …”, said that report.

The Age newspaper reports today that the European Aviation Safety Agency has a warning out on A380 engines, a directive noting that premature wear has been detected, “potentially causing the spinning turbines to move towards the rear of the engine and strike static parts.”


Airbus Industrie, Toulouse, (home)., (5.11.10).

Paul Colgan, “Airbus A380 back in the news for all the wrong reasons”, The Australian, Sydney, 5.11.10., (5.11.10).

Mark Hallam (AFP/dpa/Reuters), Rob Turner, “Airbus decrees recession ‘definitively over’ after positive air show”, DWE, Bonn, 23.7.10.,,5827474,00.html, (5.11.10).

Andrew Heasley, “Explosion grounds Qantas Airbus fleet”, The Age, Melbourne, 5.11.10., (5.11.10).

Pictures   Airbus Industrie, Sky News