Air France Flight 66

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Air France Flight 66
Airbus A380-800 Air France (AFR) F-HPJE - MSN 052 (9270323641).jpg
F-HPJE, the aircraft involved in the incident, at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in December 2011
Incident
Date 30 September 2017 (2017-09-30)
Summary Uncontained engine failure, under investigation
Site 150 km (93 mi) southeast of Paamiut, Greenland
Aircraft
Aircraft type Airbus A380-861
Operator Air France
Registration F-HPJE
Flight origin Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Destination Los Angeles International Airport
Passengers 497
Crew 24
Fatalities 0
Injuries 0
Survivors 521

Air France Flight 66 (AF066) is a scheduled international passenger flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, operated by Air France using an Airbus A380-861.

On 30 September 2017, the aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure and made an emergency landing at Goose Bay Airport, Canada at 15:42 GMT, or 12:42pm local time.[1] The failure occurred 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast of Paamiut, Greenland,[2] while the aircraft was en route. The cause of the failure to the aircraft's No. 4 Engine Alliance GP7000 engine is still undetermined;[3] the airline says that it suffered "serious damage to one of its four engines."[4]

This was the second engine-related incident to occur on the Airbus A380, following the failure of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on Qantas Flight 32 in 2010.

Aircraft

The aircraft involved was an Airbus A380-861,[5] registration F-HPJE, powered by four Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofan engines, delivered to Air France on 17 May 2011.[6]

Incident

The aircraft diverted to CFB Goose Bay, a military air base also used for civilian flights, and landed at 3:42PM Greenwich Mean Time (15:42 UTC)[4] after suffering an uncontained failure on its starboard outer (No. 4) engine while flying 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast of Paamiut, Greenland[2]. The engine that failed had operated 3,527 cycles since new.[7]

There were no reported injuries or fatalities among the 497 passengers and 24 crew on board.[4][3] Passengers were not allowed to disembark from the A380 until another Air France aircraft and a chartered aircraft arrived the next morning (1 October), because the airport (located on the Canadian Forces air base) is not equipped to accommodate a large number of passengers from commercial aircraft. The Air France aircraft (Boeing 777) landed at Atlanta, requiring a wait for its passengers to board another flight while a chartered aircraft (Boeing 737) took passengers directly to Los Angeles with a technical stopover at Winnipeg.[8]

Pictures and video of the damaged engine were posted to social media by passengers;[9][10][11] and of the landing by an observer on the ground.[12]

Investigation

Air France issued a press release stating that an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the engine failure, including representatives of the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA, the French aviation accident investigation bureau), Airbus and Air France.[4] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is responsible for investigating aviation accidents in Canada and planned to send investigators.[13] However, since the incident occurred over Greenland, the Danish Accident Investigation Board technically has jurisdiction over the investigation.[14]

On 3 October 2017 the Danish Aviation Authorities delegated the investigation to the BEA. Investigators from Denmark, the US and Canada joined the investigation. Advisors from Airbus, Air France and Engine Alliance (General Electric and Pratt & Whitney) also flew to Goose Bay. The first observation was that the engine's fan hub had detached and dragged the air inlet with it during the flight.[15]

Some six days later, debris from the aircraft's engine was recovered in Greenland. Early observations indicated the engine's fan had detached during the flight.[16]

Subsequent action

On 12 October, the American Federal Aviation Administration issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) affecting all Engine Alliance GP7270, GP7272 and GP7277 engines. The EAD requires a visual inspection of the fan hub within a timescale of two to eight weeks, depending on the number of cycles an engine has operated since new.[7]

Recovery and repair

Air France announced plans to ferry the aircraft back to Europe, for repair, with a replacement engine installed, for reasons of weight and balance, but inoperable.[17] Such an operation requires special operating procedures, and thus rehearsal by the crew in a simulator.[17] The replacement engine was delivered, and the damaged engine flown to East Midlands Airport, United Kingdom (where it will be examined by General Electric) during the period 23-25 November 2017.[17][18]

The aircraft was subsequently ferried back from Goose Bay Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport on 6 December 2017 with the callsign, Air France 371V.[19] The aircraft returned to service on 15 January 2018.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ Park, Madison; Ostrower, Jon. "Air France superjumbo engine failure forces emergency landing in Canada". CNN. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Information du 5 octobre 2017" [Information from 5 October 2017] (in French). 5 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Engine breaks up on Air France A380, forcing emergency landing in Canada". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Information About Flight Af066 Paris Los Angeles on 30 September 2017". Air France. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  5. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE southern Greenland". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2017-11-26. 
  6. ^ "The Airbus A380 Fleet Cabin and Operations Part I: Korean Air, Lufthansa And Air France". AviationReportGlobal.com. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "AD#2107-21-51" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "Wheels up: Air France passengers depart Goose Bay on two flights after hours on tarmac". CBC. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  9. ^ Marley, Remy [@theamadoor] (30 September 2017). "Engine failure halfway over the Atlantic Ocean #airfrance #airfrance66 #AF66 #birdstrike possibly" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via Twitter. 
  10. ^ McNeely, Daniel [@DanMcneely] (30 September 2017). "I think the engine has seen better days" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via Twitter. 
  11. ^ Soboroff, Jacob [@jacobsoboroff] (30 September 2017). "Just got this pic from friend aboard the Air France CDG to LAX flight that suffered engine failure & landed safely in Canada. Terrifying" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via Twitter. 
  12. ^ Barker, Jacob [@JacobBarkerCBC] (30 September 2017). "Just received this video from Kate Heath of Air France emergency landing in Goose Bay" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via Twitter. 
  13. ^ "TSB investigating after Air France plane forced to land in N.L." CTV News. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Agencies dither over who leads A380 engine explosion probe". Reuters. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Incident: France A388 over Greenland on Sep 30th 2017, fan and engine inlet separated". avherald.com. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "Debris recovered in Greenland from Air France plane forced to land in Labrador: Snowy conditions in Greenland are hampering the recovery effort". CBC News. Canadian Press. October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b c "Air France Flight AF66 Suffers Engine Failure over Greenland – Flightradar24 Blog". blog.flightradar24.com. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  18. ^ Hepher, Tim (10 October 2017). "Damaged A380 to be flown to France to investigate engine blast". Reuters. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Flightradar24. "Flightradar24.com - Live flight tracker!". Flightradar24. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  20. ^ planespotters.net. "F-HPJE Air France Airbus A380-861". planespotters.net. Retrieved 2018-05-20. 
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