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QF32 - how bad was it? (Full damage report)

QF32 - how bad was it? (Full damage report)

Old Nov 15, 10, 4:58 pm
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QF32 - how bad was it? (Full damage report)

The ATSB has indicated that it will provide a preliminary report in early December; until then we can only speculate.

Speculation is that the A380 came close to crashing due to loss of systems, the severity of which was partially understood by the 5 pilots on board, and partially determined later after it was on the ground. Some indications that it was within an hour of becoming uncontrollable; if so that would seriously compromise the airworthiness of the airframe.

The damage that is known:
1. at least 2 punctures in the fuel tank with leaking of fuel
2. loss of one of 2 hydraulic lines (shown by loss of control surfaces and having to gravity drop the landing gear)
3. loss of fuel management system due to shrapnel damage (so fuel could not be pumped from the wing to other tanks)
4. failure of engine control on the "good" engine on that wing (so it could not be throttled or shut down)
5. failure of fire control systems in both engines
6. size of hole in wing seen to be increasing during flight

There is more, but if the engine failure had occurred later in flight, it might have been difficult to reach an airport. Perhaps QF grounding the A380 is partly to digest these non-engine aspects and provide pilot training to deal with such "rare and unexpected" failures. Until the ATSB investigation is published, only QF knows the full extent of damage, how it was handled and what corollaries it has.
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Old Nov 15, 10, 5:04 pm
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The ABC News article makes it clear exactly how lucky those passengers were...

(With all the system failures that were caused by the explosion)

Very scary.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/qantas-...ry?id=12151218
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Old Nov 15, 10, 11:29 pm
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While the full extend is still unknown the the public and maybe even QF and the authorities it is clear, that this wasn't just an engine failure.
In a way this might give Airbus some very valuable data how secondary and back-up systems perform during an event which causes physical damage to the primary and maybe even backup systems.
So hopefully the learnings out of this will go into future aircraft design to further increase reliability.

And OT, I think this was my 10,000th post.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 5:22 am
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Eeek. Media beat up aside, that's seriously frightening. That said, very grateful that everyone survived, thanks to the pilots and crew. Makes their swift and decisive action even more admirable.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by DownUnderFlyer View Post

And OT, I think this was my 10,000th post.
And 10,000 congratulations.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 5:28 am
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D/U/F's had over 130 posts between 5:30pm and 11:30pm - must be wanting to be Randy's guest ...
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Old Nov 16, 10, 5:43 am
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
D/U/F's had over 130 posts between 5:30pm and 11:30pm - must be wanting to be Randy's guest ...
Was trying to. But also a few other places.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 6:05 am
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I would have thought the immediate indefinite grounding of ALL QFs 380s suggests the seriousness of the QF32 incident. It would be sad if the "Nancy Bird-Walton" does not fly again....our department looked after the actual lady in her last few months
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:13 pm
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Photo of the wing spar

Explosion tore through wing spar

* Steve Creedy, Aviation writer
* From: The Australian
* November 17, 2010 7:28PM

Qantas A380 wing spar

A photo shows the damage done to the front wing spar of the Qantas A380 after an engine explosion near Singapore. Source: Supplied

THIS photograph provides a graphic illustration of the incredible force behind the frightening disintegration of a Qantas engine near Singapore two weeks ago.

The Australian 18 November
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Old Nov 17, 10, 7:26 pm
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A more detailed analysis here: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalk...near-disaster/

Doesn't look nice at all!
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Old Nov 18, 10, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by JBauer24 View Post
The ABC News article makes it clear exactly how lucky those passengers were...

(With all the system failures that were caused by the explosion)

Very scary.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/qantas-...ry?id=12151218

Yes I read that too... 5 pilots in the cockpit (some were training and teaching), and they had never seen anything like this. 53 system error messages on a screen that can only fit 8-10 messages.

Same story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101118/...uperjumbo_woes
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Old Nov 18, 10, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by JBauer24 View Post
The ABC News article makes it clear exactly how lucky those passengers were...

(With all the system failures that were caused by the explosion)

Very scary.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/qantas-...ry?id=12151218
Sky, has got hold of some exclusive serious info too.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Bus...s-Royce_Engine
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Old Nov 18, 10, 1:46 pm
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I'm quite impressed at how well the A380 fared from all the damage; the spar damage would have resulted in a lost wing in aircraft of not too many years ago (including many still flying!). That is the positive aspect -- the engineering has successfully created redundancy in critical systems such as the structural support of the wing. The negative aspect is that systems which were thought to be sufficiently redundant and never a single point of failure, such as the dual wiring routes to the engine controllers, were destroyed by a single event (2 separate pieces of shrapnel from the engine). Also some of the software behaviour was not optimal (though presumably as intended, just not as expected by the pilots).

It looks like RR is replacing 40 engines (with a value of over $10 billion), while there are likely to be software changes from Airbus at a minimum ... though the worst case could be loss of certification due to losing engine control from a single failure. The inability to pump fuel between tanks is maybe the most serious failure -- that could have crashed the plane particularly in alternate law mode which was activated by the initial failure (something that the pilots never expected).
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Old Nov 18, 10, 2:05 pm
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Everyone on that flight was very lucky.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 2:23 pm
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With all due respect to Captain "Sully" these QF pilots also need some serious congratulations.
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