Qan­tas threat­ens Rolls-Royce af­ter en­gine fault found

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

SYD­NEY: Aus­tralian car­rier Qan­tas laid the ground on Thurs­day to sue Rolls-Royce af­ter air safety of­fi­cials prob­ing an A380 en­gine blast re­ported a po­ten­tially "cat­a­strophic" prob­lem with the tur­bine.

The Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau said a mis­aligned com­po­nent had thinned the wall of an oil pipe in the en­gine, caus­ing "fa­tigue crack­ing" that prompted leak­age and a fire "cen­tral to the en­gine fail­ure" on Novem­ber 4.

"This con­di­tion could lead to an el­e­vated risk of fa­tigue crack ini­ti­a­tion and growth, oil leak­age and po­ten­tial cat­a­strophic en­gine fail­ure from a re­sult­ing oil fire," the ATSB said, not­ing it was "un­der­stood to be re­lated to the man­u­fac­tur­ing process".

The Bureau di­rected Rolls-Royce to "ad­dress the safety is­sue and take ac­tions nec­es­sary to en­sure the safety of flight op­er­a­tions in trans­port air­craft equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 se­ries en­gines".

Qan­tas ini­tially grounded all six of its Air­bus su­per­jum­bos af­ter the blast over In­done­sia, which forced an A380 to re­turn to Singapore air­port trail­ing smoke.

Qan­tas said it would im­me­di­ately con­duct fur­ther en­gine in­ves­ti­ga­tions as a re­sult of the find­ings, but stressed this was a pre­cau­tion and there was "no im­me­di­ate risk to flight safety".

The air­line said it had be­gun court pro­ceed­ings to al­low it to pur­sue le­gal ac­tion against Rolls-Royce if nec­es­sary, but was also pur­su­ing talks with the Bri­tish com­pany on the im­pact on op­er­a­tions of the en­gine prob­lem.

Qan­tas "will also con­sider le­gal op­tions," it said on its web­site.

The air­line had "filed a state­ment of claim and been granted an in­junc­tion by the Fed­eral Court of Aus­tralia which will en­sure that the com­pany can pur­sue le­gal ac­tion against Rolls-Royce in Aus­tralia... if a com­mer­cial set­tle­ment is not pos­si­ble," the air­line said.

"Qan­tas re­mains com­mit­ted to work­ing with Roll­sRoyce on the Trent 900 in­spec­tion pro­gramme, in con­sul­ta­tion with Air­bus and the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Author­ity."

Qan­tas also said it would be in­spect­ing the two A380 planes it cur­rently has in op­er­a­tion fol­low­ing the lat­est find­ings.

"Qan­tas does not an­tic­i­pate at this stage that the in­spec­tions will have an im­pact on in­ter­na­tional ser­vices. How­ever con­tin­gency ar­range­ments will be in place, if needed," it said.

The find­ings come just five days af­ter Qan­tas re­sumed A380 flights, though the car­rier has barred the su­per­jumbo from trans-Pa­cific trips to Los An­ge­les due to the ex­tra en­gine thrust re­quired.

Checks re­vealed prob­lems with 16 of the to­tal 24 Roll­sRoyce Trent 900 en­gines pow­er­ing Qan­tas's A380s-four per plane-mean­ing the tur­bines would have to be re­placed or mod­i­fied.

Singapore Air­lines re­placed one en­gine each on three of its 11 A380s as a pre­cau­tion af­ter the Qan­tas in­ci­dent and said Thurs­day's news was "re­ally noth­ing new" and would not af­fect its flights.

"We are al­ready com­ply­ing with the rec­om­men­da­tions from in­spec­tors... This is an on­go­ing process," an air­line spokes­woman told AFP.

SIA said it was not con­sid­er­ing tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against Rolls-Royce for the moment.

"As of now I don't think we are, that's not the fo­cus... Our fo­cus right now is on the (en­gine) checks," a spokes­woman told AFP.

Ger­man flag car­rier Lufthansa, which also uses the Trent 900 on its fleet of four A380s, has re­placed two of the en­gines, with Qan­tas last month warn­ing as many as 40 units across the three air­lines may have to be re­placed. -Bloomerg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.