The discovery of the rest of a turbine in the snow in Greenland triggered safety alerts around the A380. The finding has the track of an alleged engine failure manufactured by the Engine Alliance, which asked several airlines to check the planes equipped with them.
The origin of this Romanesque episode dates back to September 30, 2017. An A380-800 of Air France flew from Paris to Los Angeles, when at the height of Greenland it had an engine failure and had to land emergency at the base Goose Bay, from Canada.
Its 500 passengers and crew arrived in good condition at destination. But one of the parts of the damaged engine fell on the icy surface of Greenland, and there it was buried by snow until last June 30 the Office of Research and Analysis for Aviation Security (BEA), of France, found after an intense search.
The tests carried out by the French agency discovered the origin of a “subsurface fatigue” crack in one of the titanium blades of the GP7200 engine built by the Engine Alliance. The remains of the damaged turbine were hidden under snow in Greenland for two years.
This is a company formed by the firms General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Safran, and their turbines are found in 152 A380 aircraft, 60% of the 237 units of this giant of the air that are in service.
The other major engine manufacturer for these planes is the British Rolls-Royce. The Engine Alliance, with BEA supervision, alerted the airlines that use their products to check the engines immediately, without having to wait for periodic reviews.
That will imply that dozens of airplanes will have to be temporarily removed from service for inspections to take place.
In addition to Air France , other companies involved are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Korean Air, reports Reuters.
BEA investigations are still continuing, and they do not rule out analyzing other factors such as the physical pressures that these engines bear on the flight.
Although experts acknowledge that it is very rare for a plane crash to be caused by isolated factors, the ghost of the tragedy of the United Airlines DC-10 floats in the environment.
Air France, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Korean Air and Etihad have to check their A380s before the alert issued by the engine manufacturer. 30 years ago, in July 1989, United Flight 232 crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, because of the tail engine explosion, due to material fatigue, which caused the loss of the aircraft’s hydraulic systems. .
111 people died in the accident but the skillful performance of the crew managed to save another 185.
– metallurgical examination of the recovered titanium fan hub fragment identified a subsurface fatigue crack origin.
– the fracture was initiated in a microtextured area approximately in the middle of the slot bottom.
— BEA ✈️ 🚁🛩 🇫🇷 (@BEA_Aero) August 21, 2019