13 November, 2010


Rolls-Royce Trent 900, Farnborough 2006

Qantas A380 Engine Failure

A new superjumbo plane owned by Qantas experienced an inflight trouble that forced the airline into an emergency landing in Singapore last week. Luckily everybody in the plane is safe and experiencing no major injuries except near traumatic experiences.

It was reported that the incident was caused by the failure in a specific part of its Trent 900 engine that causes a fire on one of the superjumbo's engine.

Hopefully, the manufacturer of the engine will quickly able to identify the specific part of the engine which causes engine failure.

Due to the complexities of a jet engine, only a small part of the engine can cause severe damage to the engine. Since the engine is new, the only defect is likely either to be a design defect or a material defect and not due to maintenance issue. As happened before, the design or material defect can only be detected after the engine experienced some kind of failure. Engineers or technicians will carry out detail study of the engine failure in order to detect the cause of the engine's malfunction. 

Authorities also had directed airlines to carry out repetitive test on the engine to find out if there are any abnormalities to the engine.

Luckily that the engine was designed in such a way that in any case of malfunction, it will not affect the fuselage of the aircraft.

I am sure that before the engine is allowed to be installed on any aircraft, a rigorous test had been carried out on the engine. But for the Trent 900 engine, it seems that the testing is not being carried out thorough enough to be able to detect the presence of any weak component in the engine. May be the testing procedure need to be reviewed to avoid future similar incidents from occurring.

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