December 2, 2010
The ATSB has issued a safety recommendation about potential engine problems in some Airbus A380 aircraft.
The ATSB is investigating an occurrence involving a Qantas A380 aircraft that experienced engine failure over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. The aircraft landed safely in Singapore having returned with the aircraft’s No 2 engine shut down. There were no injuries.
The ATSB has now issued a safety recommendation (AO-2010-089-SR-012) about potential engine problems in some Airbus A380 aircraft.
The safety recommendation identifies a potential manufacturing defect with an oil tube connection to the high-pressure (HP)/intermediate-pressure (IP) bearing structure of the Trent 900 engine installed in some A380 aircraft.
The problem relates to the potential for misaligned oil pipe counter-boring, which could lead to fatigue cracking, oil leakage and potential engine failure from an oil fire within the HP/IP bearing buffer space.
In response to the recommendation Rolls Royce, affected airlines and safety regulators are taking action to ensure the continued safe operation of A380 aircraft. The action involves the close inspection of affected engines and the removal from service of any engine which displays the suspected counter-boring problem.
November 22, 2010
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a new emergency airworthiness directive (2010-0242-E) for Rolls Royce RB211 Trent 900 series engines following a recent incident involving such an engine on a Qantas A380. This AD supersedes a previous emergency AD ( 2010-0236-E) that was issued on Novemer 10, 2010.
Since issuance of AD 2010-0236-E, the incident investigation has progressed and inspection data from in-service engines has been gathered and analysed.
The results of this analysis show the need to amend the inspection procedure, retaining the inspection of the air buffer cavity and focusing on the oil servicetubes within the HP/IP structure.
This AD partially retains the requirements of AD 2010-0236-E, which is superseded, and requires implementation of the amended procedure and accomplishment of the associated inspections.
November 11, 2010
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Rolls Royce RB211 Trent 900 series engines following a recent incident involving such an engine on a Qantas A380.
The incident happened on November 4, 2010 when engine nr 2. on a Qantas Airbus A380, VH-OQA, suffered an uncontained failure shortly after takeoff from Singapore.
Analysis of the preliminary elements from the incident investigation shows that an oil fire in the HP/IP structure cavity may have caused the failure of the Intermediate Pressure Turbine (IPT) Disc.
This condition, if not detected, could ultimately result in uncontained engine failure potentially leading to damage to the aeroplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground.
For these reasons and pending conclusion of the incident investigation, the AD requires repetitive inspections of the Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) stage 1 blades and case drain, HP/IP structure air buffer cavity and oil service tubes in order to detect any abnormal oil leakage, and if any discrepancy is found, to prohibit further engine operation.