Aircraft design has to be one of the most complicated things to do. Not ever being able to foresee what failures will occur and what the aftermath will bring. This 380 is a good example of this. Thank God for the expertise of the flight crew. There is no doubt that God was with them that day. To have that many failures, of which some I really don't understand like the fuel trapped in the tail tank? wowie and not being able to shut down the #1 engine and it had no fire protection? Yep that airplane & its occupancies were very fortunate!
Looks like there will be some design changes to the A/C systems leave alone engines.
A QANTAS A380 was a flying wreck after an engine exploded last week, shooting metal through fuel tanks.
Last week's mid-air emergency off Singapore also badly damaged a wing, which may have to be replaced. The big jet was nursed back to Singapore on three engines. When it touched down the fuel systems were failing, the forward spar supporting the left wing had been holed and one of the jet's two hydraulic systems was knocked out and totally drained of fluid.
Sources compared the A380 to the Memphis Belle, the World War II bomber that struggled back to England from Germany on its final mission and became the subject of an award-winning 1990s Hollywood movie by the same name.
Richard Woodward, vice-president of the International Air Pilots' Federation, told the Herald Sun yesterday that the lesson from the near disaster was the value of an experienced flight crew.
"There was a wealth of experience in the cockpit, even the lowest ranked officer on board had thousands of hours of experience in his former role as a military flying instructor," said Capt Woodward, himself an A380 pilot on leave from Qantas. As another senior pilot said: "It is bad enough for an engine to explode in mid-air let alone lose so many secondary systems". Investigators found shrapnel damage to the flaps, a huge hole in the upper surface of the left wing and a generator that was not working. The crew could not shutdown the No. 1 engine using the fire switch.
As a result the engine's fire extinguishers could not be deployed. Captain Richard de Crespigny, first officer Matt Hicks and Mark Johnson, the second officer, could not jettison the volume of fuel required for a safe emergency landing.
With more than 80 tonnes of highly volatile jet kerosene still in the 11 tanks, two of which were leaking, they made an overweight and high speed approach to Changi Airport. Without full hydraulics the spoilers, the hinged flaps on the front of the wings could not be fully deployed to slow the jet. The crew also had to rely on gravity for the undercarriage to drop and lock into place. On landing they had no anti-skid brakes and could rely on only one engine for reverse thrust needing all of the 4km runway at Changi to bring the jet to a stop.
The three crew have been interviewed by Australian investigators and cleared to return to duties.
Industry sources said the damage will almost certainly put the airline's flagship jet, the Nancy Bird-Walton, out of service for months. Investigators found that an oil fire may have caused the engine to explode. Details of the stricken jet's problems were revealed yesterday in an emergency directive by the European Aviation Safety Authority. The authority made it mandatory for airlines with the now suspect Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to make checks for excess oil. If not detected, excess oil can cause a fire and ultimately result in "uncontained" engine failure, with potential damage to the aeroplane and to people or property on the ground. Qantas made it clear it will keep its six superjumbos grounded indefinitely and has rearranged flight schedules using substitute aircraft. "The specific checks mandated by the directive were already being carried out by Qantas in conjunction with Rolls-Royce," it said. "Qantas's A380 aircraft will not return to service until there is complete certainty that the fleet can operate safely."
WHAT WENT WRONG ON QF32
Damage to the A380
1 Massive fuel leak in the left mid fuel tank (there are 11 tanks, including in the horizontal stabiliser on the tail)
2 Massive fuel leak in the left inner fuel tank
3 A hole on the flap fairing big enough to climb through
4 The aft gallery in the fuel system failed, preventing many fuel transfer functions
5 Problem jettisoning fuel
6 Massive hole in the upper wing surface
7 Partial failure of leading edge slats
8 Partial failure of speed brakes/ground spoilers
9 Shrapnel damage to the flaps
10 Total loss of all hydraulic fluid in one of the jet's two systems
11 Manual extension of landing gear
12 Loss of one generator and associated systems
13 Loss of brake anti-skid system
14 No.1 engine could not be shut down in the usual way after landing because of major damage to systems
15 No.1 engine could not be shut down using the fire switch, which meant fire extinguishers would not work on that engine
16 ECAM (electronic centralised aircraft monitor) warnings about the major fuel imbalance (because of fuel leaks on left side) could not be fixed with cross-feeding
17 Fuel was trapped in the trim tank (in the tail)creating a balance problem for landing
18 Left wing forward spar penetrated by debris
A380 problems in detail AND YOU THOUGHT FLYING WAS EASY!!!
Earned at least a year's salary in an hour or so. Everyone gave the pilots a glowing commendation for their professionalism & they deserved it.
Here are just SOME of the problems the QANTAS guys had in Singapore last week aboard QF32, in addition to the engine failure...
* massive fuel leak in the left mid fuel tank (the beast has 11 tanks, including in the horizontal stabiliser on the tail)
* massive fuel leak in the left inner fuel tank
* a hole on the flap canoe/fairing that you could fit your upper body through.
* the aft gallery in the fuel system failed, preventing many fuel transfer functions
* fuel jettison had problems due to the previous problem above
* bloody great hole in the upper wing surface
* partial failure of leading edge slats
* partial failure of speed brakes/ground spoilers
* shrapnel damage to the flaps
* TOTAL loss of all hydraulic fluid in the Green System (beast has 2 x 5,000 PSI systems, Green and Yellow)
* manual extension of landing gear
* loss of 1 generator and associated systems
* loss of brake anti-skid system
* unable to shutdown adjacent #1 engine using normal method after landing due to major damage to systems
* unable to shutdown adjacent #1 engine using using the fire switch!!!!!!!! Therefore, no fire protection was available for that engine after the explosion in #2
* ECAM warnings about major fuel imbalance because of fuel leaks on left side, that were UNABLE to be fixed with cross-feeding
* fuel trapped in Trim Tank (in the tail). Therefore, possible major CofG out-of-balance condition for landing. Yikes!
* and much more to come...
Richard was in the left seat, (FO in the right), SO in the 2nd obs seat (right rear, also with his own Radio Management Panel, so he probably did most of the coordination with the ground), Capt Dave Evans in the 1st obs seat (middle). He is a Check & Training Captain who was training Harry Wubbin to be one also. Harry was in the 3rd obs seat (left rear). All 5 guys were FLAT OUT, especially the FO who would have been processing complicated 'ECAM' messages and procedures that were seemingly never-ending!
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11-16-2010 12:19 PM #1
Bubba Sez... Qantas A380 problems in detail...Bubba Sez... May you always have a tail wind and keep your scarf out of your rudder...
11-23-2010 09:50 PM #2
Bubba Sez... Qantas follow-up...
Got this from a friend... To get a preview of the Airbus preliminary report into the Qantas A380 incident, see below link. This explains why Qantas grounded their fleet so rapidly.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalk...near-disaster/Bubba Sez... May you always have a tail wind and keep your scarf out of your rudder...