Air France Flight 66 with nearly 500 passengers onboard, originating in Paris and bound for Los Angeles made an emergency landing at Goose Bay in Canada on Saturday after one of its four engines sustained severe damage over the Atlantic.
No one was hurt in what the airline described as a “serious incident” which saw components of its No. 4 Engine Alliance GP7200 detach including the nose cowl, part of the fan cowl and the fan disc.
The aircraft involved in the incident was an A380 that was about seven years old, with the engine made by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric Co and United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney unit.
The forced landing in Canada’s easternmost province is reminiscent of an incident seven years ago in which one of the Rolls Royce engines on a Qantas A380 suffered also suffered an uncontained engine failure after taking off in Singapore. The November 2010 incident prompted the grounding of the entire Qantas A380 fleet – six A380s at the time – for over three weeks and put the damaged aircraft out of service for months.
Dramatic photographs taken by passengers aboard the Air France flight circulated on the Internet soon after the aircraft landed. The images appeared to show that the inlet, or front part, of the engine had torn off, but the main part of the engine was intact.
Passengers reported hearing a loud thud and felt severe vibrations for nearly 30 seconds as the aircraft lost altitude before stabilising. Investigations are ongoing.