Qantas Airbus A380 saved by 'quick' crew, says ATSB

Dec 04 2010

_49907267_rolls.jpgThe Qantas Airbus A380 that experienced an engine explosion would not have arrived safely without the quick thinking of crew, a report has said.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has published its report into the incident.

The ATSB confirmed that an oil leak was the likely cause of the blow-out.

"The aircraft would not have arrived safely in Singapore without the focused and effective action of the flight crew," the report said.

The report also pointed out that there were five pilots on board the superjumbo aircraft, with a combined 72,000 hours of flying experience, on 4 November when the incident took place.

Those at the controls of the A380 struggled with more than a dozen system errors after the engine blew, the ATSB added.

The bureau said a suspected manufacturing problem with an oil pipe in one of the plane's four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines may have led to an oil leak.

That could have sparked a fire in a hot part of the engine, causing a disintegration of one of the engine's turbine discs.

Pieces of the disc were then fired through a wing, cutting electronics and causing numerous system problems.

Legal issues

Rolls-Royce has said the Australian findings - which have already been in the public domain - were "consistent with what we have said before".

On Thursday, Qantas said it was starting legal action against Rolls-Royce as back-up in case a settlement could not be reached.

Qantas has resumed flying some of its A380 planes after grounding the fleet for safety checks following the incident on 4 November.

The carrier said its legal action allowed it "to keep all options available to the company to recover losses, as a result of the grounding of the A380 fleet and the operational constraints currently imposed on A380 services".

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