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Safety Risks From Emirates A380 Engine Blow Out “Relatively Low”

Safety Risks From Emirates A380 Engine Blow Out “Relatively Low”

ATSB rules operator’s procedures were effective but expresses ongoing concerns over nozzle designs

The loud bang from an engine on an Emirates flight from Sydney to Dubai on November 11, 2012 sent shockwaves through the cabin – and through the airline, as it was the third incident in as many weeks.

But the official report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), published yesterday, found associated risks to the safety of continued flight were “relatively low”, as the failure had been contained and the operator’s procedures “were effective in managing the engine shut down,” as fuel was jettisoned and the plane safely returned to Sydney.

The investigation found that the increase in the exhaust gas temperature in engine number three was a result of significant internal damage that had started within the High Pressure Turbine (HPT) module.

Engine manufacturer Engine Alliance subsequently made changes to the nozzle and both the ATSB and the US FAA stated that the action taken “adequately addresses the safety issue”, although the ATSB expressed ongoing concerns.

“The newer nozzle design has suggested that the issues surrounding the development of nozzle distress within the HPT stage 2 turbine area may not have been fully addressed,” it stated. “At the time of publishing this report, the engine manufacturer was continuing work to better understand the conditions that can lead to HPT distress and to further improve the durability of the HPT components.”

An Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates has undertaken proactive safety measures to guard against any future similar occurrences. The engine manufacturer has made design changes to the affected engine part and enhanced its monitoring system for earlier alerts…by November 20, 2012, all engines on Emirates’ fleet of A380 aircraft had the new parts installed.”

To read the full report, click here.

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