Qantas Statement – ATSB Report On QF32 Engine Failure

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Qantas today welcomed the release by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of its first preliminary investigation report into the QF32 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine failure over Indonesia on 4 November 2010.

The report outlines the safety action taken by Qantas and states that the ATSB is satisfied with Qantas’ safety response.

The ATSB has confirmed it is looking at a range of issues as part of what will be a detailed and lengthy investigation. The report has confirmed the seriousness of the incident and that, in spite of damage to some systems and components, the pilots retained control of the aircraft at all times and were able to land safely. The report says: “The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Qantas adequately addresses the immediate safety of flight concerns in respect of the operation of its A380 aircraft equipped with Trent 900 series engines”.

Qantas continues to work closely with Rolls-Royce and Airbus, CASA and the ATSB on a comprehensive inspection program covering Trent 900 engines.

With CASA’s approval, two A380s have returned to service with Qantas voluntarily applying a range of conditions that include not operating the aircraft across the Pacific until further operational experience has been gathered.

Qantas will continue to operate a full international and domestic schedule and expects to make further announcements about the return to service of more A380s, before Christmas, in the near future. In addition to the two aircraft that are back in service, two new A380s will be delivered and enter service in coming weeks, and another two are due for delivery in early 2011.

The aircraft involved in the QF32 incident will remain in Singapore for some time while Airbus develops and then undertakes a significant repair program. Sixteen Qantas engines require either modification to the latest standard or full replacement. Five of these have been replaced to date and all Airworthiness Directive and CASA requirements are being met.

As foreshadowed yesterday, Qantas has also completed the one-off Trent 900 oil feed stub pipe inspections on the first of the two aircraft that have resumed service. No issues as outlined by the ATSB were found, and the aircraft will operate to London via Singapore as scheduled this evening.

Inspection of the second aircraft has commenced.

Qantas will continue to work with Rolls-Royce, Airbus and CASA on its ongoing Trent 900 inspection program, and to support the ATSB’s ongoing investigation.

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