We considered devoting a segment on the uncontained engine failure of Qantas Flight 32 (VH-OQA, an Airbus A380) in the latest episode of Flight Podcast, but decided it was inappropriate to address the issues in any detail in the early stages void of any real or formal investigation. We have a panel of experts that we will talk to in a future episode.
This is some information provided to us by a Qantas A380 check pilot detailing just some of the damage and consequences of the damage. It is by no means exhaustive and, for that matter, should be considered to be incorrect or, at the very least, a work of flight.org fiction..
- Massive fuel leak in the left mid fuel tank (A380 has 11 tanks, including in the horizontal stabiliser on the tail)
- Massive fuel leak in the left inner fuel tank
- A hole on the flap canoe/fairing (big enough to climb through)
- The aft gallery in the fuel system failed, preventing many fuel transfer functions
- Fuel jettison had problems due to the previous problem above
- Large hole in the upper wing surface
- Partial failure of leading edge slats
- Partial failure of speed brakes/ground spoilers
- Shrapnel damage to the flaps
- Crew experienced a total loss of all hydraulic fluid in the Green System (A380 has 2 x 5,000 PSI systems, Green and Yellow)
- Crew were required to perform a manual extension of landing gear
- Experienced a loss of 1 generator and associated systems
- Aircraft had a loss of brake anti-skid system
- Crew were unable to shutdown adjacent number 1 engine using normal method after landing due to major damage to systems
- Crew were unable to shutdown adjacent #1 engine using using the fire switch. Therefore, no fire protection was available for that engine after the explosion in number 2
- ECAM warnings regarding a major fuel imbalance caused by the fuel leak on left side It was unable to be fixed with cross-feeding
- Fuel trapped in Trim Tank (in the tail). Therefore, there was a real possibility of a major center of gravity out-of-balance condition for landing.
Captain Richard De-Crespigny was in the left seat and the First Officer was in the right seat. The second officer was in the 2nd observer seat (right rear) and had access to his own radio management panel – so he likely had a part in communication with the ground. Captain Dave Evans was sitting in the 1st observer seat (middle). Captain Evans is a Check & Training Captain who was tasked with the training of Harry Wubbin (who was undergoing an assessment as a check captain himself). Captain Wubbin was sitting in the 3rd observer seat (left rear).
The First Officer was responsible for dealing with over 5 pages of ECAM messages.
The findings of the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau will be interesting.
We will produce a podcast dealing with Airbus issues and this incident when appropriate timing presents itself. In episode 4 of Flight Podcast, we briefly discuss the generic nature of uncontained failures.