Air France Airbus A380 suffers Catastrophic Engine Failure over Atlantic

One of 500 passenger’s carrier commercial aircraft an Airbus A380 operated by Air France outbound for Los Angeles Airport suffered a mid-flight engine explosion and was forced to land in a remote part of eastern Canada.

Air France flight AF66 was dispatched from Paris passing over Greenland bound for California on September 30 when it was rocked by an uncontained engine failure; a rare emergency in which machinery and other parts break away from the plane at high velocity.

The front cowling and fan disc of the No. 4 engine, outermost on the right side, had completely sheared off after the engine explosion of Air France. Aircraft engines are designed to contain most problems, such as snapped fan blades or bird strikes.

The American manufacturer of the engine, Connecticut-based Engine Alliance, said it was investigating the failure, which the airline said caused “serious damage.”

The airline said flight AF66 from Paris landed safely at Goose Bay Airport in Labrador. “The aircraft landed safely at 15:42 (GMT) and was carrying 496 passengers and 24 crew members, the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly,” Air France said in a statement, adding that none of the 497 passengers was injured.

The aircraft is one of 10 Airbus A380 series aircraft registered as ‘F-HPJE’ in Air France fleet and is seven years old.

The forced landing in Canada’s easternmost province is reminiscent of an incident seven years ago in which one of the Rolls Royce engines on a Qantas A380 suffered mid-engine damage after taking off in Singapore. That incident led to the grounding of all six A380s in the Qantas fleet for three weeks.


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