Photo: David Evans
The Royal Aeronautical Society has a fascinating interview with Qantas A380 Captain David Evans. He was in the cockpit as an observing check pilot during the QF32 uncontained Trent 900 engine failure on 4 November. Evans is seen on the right in the above photo taken after QF32 returned to Singapore.
It’s a must read. Here are some excerpts:
We had a number of checklists to deal with and 43 ECAM messages in the first 60 seconds after the explosion and probably another ten after that. So it was nearly a two-hour process to go through those items and action each one (or not action them) depending on what the circumstances were.
The Engine 2 was shut down. Part of the damage caused Engines 1 & 4 to go into a ‘degraded’ mode. The engines were still operating and Engine 3 was the only engine that was operating normally.
With the loss of the green system we dealt with that and curiously we had the hydraulic pumps of Engine 4 indicating failed as well. Engine 3, the trusty engine, was the only engine that was producing hydraulics for the aircraft for the yellow system.
We had to work out whether we could actually stop on the runway that was available to us. We didn’t have the ability to dump fuel, the fuel dumping system had failed and we were about 50 tonnes over our maximum landing weight…the computer happily made a calculation and it gave us a touchdown speed of about 165kt and showed us about 130m of surplus runway (it’s a 4,000m runway) so basically said we could stop on the runway. We had also lost the use of our leading-edge slats which consequently with the overweight condition made our approach speed quite fast – 35kt more than normal.
We had the aircraft with no air conditioning and its about midday now in Singapore – so its getting very hot in the cabin. We’ve lost our satellite phone so the trusty mobile phones came out and called the company in Sydney to relay back to the company in Singapore, to dispatch some stairs and buses to the aircraft.