Rolls-Royce has admitted its safety standards were not up to scratch as a result of the Qantas A380 engine failure on a Singapore-Sydney flight in November 2010.
Commenting on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report into the incident, which identified the engine failure was the result of a fatigue crack in an oil feed pipe, Colin Smith, director of Engineering & Technology for Rolls-Royce said: “On this occasion we clearly fell short. The robustness of the Airbus A380 and the professionalism of the Qantas crew members assured that the aircraft and all its passengers landed safely.”
The oil leak led to a fire in the Trent 900 engine and the break-up of a turbine disc, fragments of which exited the engine and caused significant damage to the aircraft.
Smith added that it supported the ATSB’s conclusions and has already applied the lesson learned throughout its “engineering, manufacturing and quality assurance procedures”.
Rolls-Royce has released an engine control software update that includes an IP turbine overspeed protection system (IPTOS) designed to shut the engine down before the turbine disc can overspeed.
Qantas partner Emirates experienced an A380 engine problem last year, forcing the aircraft to return to Australia, although in that instance it was GP7200 engines involved, built by Engine Alliance.