An Air France Airbus A380 headed to from Paris to Los Angeles was forced to make an emergency landing in Canada on Saturday after the spectacular disintegration of one of its engines.
The A380 landed safely in Goose Bay, Canada, after the fan and inlet of the outboard, right engine separated from the engine about 200 nautical miles southeast of Nuuk, Greenland.
The double-decker plane is one of 10 Air France A380s and was carrying 520 passengers and crew. The airline confirmed that one of the four engines on flight AF66 sustained “serious damage”.
“The regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly,” the airline said in a statement. The airline said it was working to re-route passengers to Los Angeles.
The Aviation Herald reported the crew reduced the altitude to 31,000 feet and landed in Goose bay about two hours later.
“A runway inspection discovered debris on the arrival runway, which needed to be cleaned before the runway could be reopened,’’ the safety website said.
Passengers reported hearing a loud thud and feeling vibrations.
Passenger Daniel McNeely tweeted: “One of our engines is slightly blown apart. Will try to take a photo and tweet it. Just glad to be on the ground.
“I think the engine has seen better days.’’
Reports said the passengers spent two hours in the plane at Goose Bay because the airport did not have stairs suited to the superjumbo.
The engine was made by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
The engine on Qantas A380 that blew apart near Singapore in 2010 was made by Rolls- Royce. Subsequent investigations found an engine manufacturing defect in a stub oil pipe.
Other problems with engine cowlings on Airbus aircraft involved A330 aircraft, one in Australia and one in Egypt. Both of those planes were powered by Rolls-Royce engines.