Engine Failure On Air France A380

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Engine Failure On Air France A380

#1  Postby Calilasseia » Oct 01, 2017 9:30 am

Some years ago, Qantas Flight 32 suffered an engine failure en route to Australia, and had to return to Singapore, with serious consequences for the engine maker, Rolls-Royce Aero Engines.

Now, it's GE's turn.

An Air France A380, Flight 066, has been diverted to Newfoundland, following serious engine failure. The entire forward fan disc, front engine cowling and a section of the compressor was lost.

Although the aircraft landed safely at Goose Bay, Newfoundland (a designated redirection airport for stricken civilian flights, manned by the Canadian Air Force), the photos of the engine do NOT look good for GE. I suspect a lot of after-launch testing is going to need to be redone on the GE7200 after this.

News article here and from a lot of other news agencies covering the story.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#2  Postby Alan C » Oct 01, 2017 10:33 am

It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#3  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 01, 2017 11:42 am

Passenger Miguel Amador suspects a bird strike. At FL 370. He'll be able to laugh about all that, someday.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#4  Postby Agi Hammerthief » Oct 01, 2017 7:16 pm

Alan C wrote:It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.

So you have double the probability of a failure like this?

The facts without fluff:
http://www.avherald.com/h?article=4af15205&opt=0
* my (modified) emphasis ( or 'interpretation' )

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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#5  Postby Bubalus » Oct 01, 2017 7:21 pm

Agi Hammerthief wrote:
Alan C wrote:It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.

So you have double the probability of a failure like this?

The facts without fluff:
http://www.avherald.com/h?article=4af15205&opt=0


Glider for me then :lol:
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#6  Postby laklak » Oct 02, 2017 3:08 am

A380s have four engines.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#7  Postby Agi Hammerthief » Oct 02, 2017 3:22 am

laklak wrote:A380s have four engines.

Yes, what I meant was double the probbably of engine failure on a four engine aircraft of that from a two engine aircraft.
* my (modified) emphasis ( or 'interpretation' )

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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#8  Postby Tero » Oct 06, 2017 8:42 pm

Alan C wrote:It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.

I've flown SAS Stockholm to Chicago a few times. I always look at the emergency card and there are two planes. One has four engines and flies to Seattle and the other has 2 and flies to Chicago. About the same number of passengers.

The fleet is listed here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinav ... rent_fleet
http://karireport.blogspot.com/
http://esapolitics.blogspot.com/
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1 Republicans cut tax, let everything run down to barely working...8 years
2 Democrats fix public spending to normal...8 years
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#9  Postby Matt_B » Oct 07, 2017 5:13 am

Having four engines over water used to be a good rule back when engine failures were relatively common, but it's considered extremely unlikely that an aircraft would have two fail in flight nowadays. Most large twinjets are certified to fly for three hours on a single engine to a contingency airport, if need be, and that's enough to take them pretty much anywhere on the planet.

If an aircraft has four engines it's almost certainly because they don't make engines big enough for it to be able to take off with just one of them operating, which is a requirement for twinjets. The tipping point is when you get to a max take-off weight of around 360 tons, although it's creeping upwards as more powerful engines are built.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#10  Postby Warren Dew » Oct 08, 2017 5:53 pm

Agi Hammerthief wrote:
Alan C wrote:It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.

So you have double the probability of a failure like this?

If it's a bird strike, the probability is likely proportional to the total inlet cross section across all engines, which may be largely independent of number of engines. Agreed regarding other types of failures, though.
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#11  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 08, 2017 6:16 pm

Warren Dew wrote:
Agi Hammerthief wrote:
Alan C wrote:It's an incident like this that makes me favour jetliners with 4 engines.

So you have double the probability of a failure like this?

If it's a bird strike, the probability is likely proportional to the total inlet cross section across all engines, which may be largely independent of number of engines. Agreed regarding other types of failures, though.


A bird strike? 7 miles above sea level? Air is pretty thin up there, and the temperature is about -50 F. That's one helluva bird. I pointed this out already, albeit obliquely. But perhaps you don't believe it could have been a bird strike in this case, so that the cross section matters.

Here's a graph of the flight in 3 dimensions on two charts:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AFR6 ... /LFPG/CYYR
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#12  Postby Macdoc » Oct 10, 2017 5:25 am

A turbine blade may well have been damaged at take off by a bird strike and not fail immediately.

However -

Bird strikes happen most often during takeoff or landing, or during low altitude flight.[8] However, bird strikes have also been reported at high altitudes, some as high as 6,000 m (20,000 ft) to 9,000 m (30,000 ft) above the ground. Bar-headed geese have been seen flying as high as 10,175 m (33,383 ft) above sea level. An aircraft over the Ivory Coast collided with a Rüppell's vulture at the altitude of 11,300 m (37,100 ft), the current record avian height.[9]
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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#13  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 10, 2017 6:06 am

Article from avherald.com includes pictures of debris (lots of it) found on the snow in Greenland (and many detailed views of the damage to the engine nacelle itself in external views):

http://avherald.com/h?article=4af15205&opt=1

Having found lots of debris will aid the investigation. Following the article is discussion from some folks with high level tech expertise (along with the inevitable noise).

Macdoc wrote:A turbine blade may well have been damaged at take off by a bird strike and not fail immediately.


Would not a bird strike occurring at a lower altitude and affecting the powerplant directly show up in data from powerplant monitoring systems aboard the a/c? Is it even plausible that damage to a blade could lead to such a massive failure? See below:

Here's a pithy quote from the earliest stages of that discussion, before the GE vs Rolls noise fully kicked in:

It seems that the first disk of the fan has lost its mechanical connection, accelerated free forward because of its rotating mass and speed without mechanical load from the engine and took the inlet cowl with it before it lost rpm and fell down. It didn't loose blades, so the tanks and the passengers were not affected.
(Hajo, 1843Z thread time stamp on Sep 30)

What has happened here, is that the engine has lost the entire N1 fan and cowl together. Not just a blade or two, but the entire fan and containment ring has separated. That is a serious fault. Had that fan 'disk' departed in the direction of the fuselage, it would have made a big hole.

Remember the good old days, when a Hastings lost a prop, and it walked down the wing and embeded itself into the fuselage, and was still there on landing. Or the 747 out of Schiphol, that detached, went forwards, and then went backwards and took out the other engine. This could have been much worse.
(contributor blades, thread time stamp 1941Z on Sep 30

More, and even pithier:

I've been following accidents and aviation for 20 years and I dont think I can recall an event like this EVER happening.

The physical separation of an entire module on a modern airliner, is just staggering. Disc failures, blade losses are are part of the normal cycle of flights it seems, but this is just amazing.

The closest event that I can think of is from 1977 where a National Airlines DC10, CF6 engine suffered, most if not all, fan blade departure from the disc due to resonance at high power. Even than, the disc stayed put.

A shaft failure would cause immediate LPT overspeed, not the fan to depart entirely.

(Sep 30, 2209Z, thread stamp, by lee)

From Fabrice, 2250Z, Sep30:
The fan disk is especially critical so it will be interesting to see why fatigue cracking went unnoticed (I doubt that any short-term event caused a crack to occur here).
With the aircraft being seven years old, the engines could be the first ones on that frame, if they were performing well, or they could have recently been overhauled. Some small damage on the fan disk surface can be enough to start a crack.


Until the investigation is concluded, this is probably the best analysis we are going to see just from external inspection. How's that bird-strike theory looking now?

Meanwhile, down in Goose Bay:

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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#14  Postby Macdoc » Oct 10, 2017 7:37 am

My comment was purely to point out that the effect of a bird strike at lower altitudes could be delayed..

If it was a module failure tho ....then that is rare but not unheard of...

An engine from the Boeing 747 aircraft fell off two minutes into the flight which was carrying 300 people

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and

Image
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.2768491

Here are 8 cases - bit of a dodgy site but

https://www.coolweirdo.com/eight-weird- ... e-sky.html

One of which is this tho

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Re: Engine Failure On Air France A380

#15  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 10, 2017 9:50 am

Not a 'module failure', per se, unless we are referring to components as modules. Just study the comments, macdoc. Some of those folks think what they're seeing is a shaft or disk failure. When they've sorted it all out, we'll know.

Macdoc wrote:If it was a module failure tho ....then that is rare but not unheard of...


On the topic of 'rare': Do you really have stats with frequencies of failures due to bird strikes and those due to module failures?

When you look at the damage, especially the failure surfaces on the remaining bits of the fan structure, does it look like the failure was initiated by a bird strike? How would we know? It's easier to assess failures that happen due to cracked disks and shafts. The usual failure mode is (fatigue or incidental damage) cracking.
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