Pictures have emerged of the damaged Rolls-Royce RB211 engine on a Qantas Airlines Boeing 747-400 that experienced an uncontained engine failure on departure from the San Francisco International airport en route to Sydney late Monday night.
According to news reports, flight tracking and air traffic control communications from FlightAware.com and LiveATC,net, the aircraft was climbing through 25,000ft (7,620m) approximately 20 minutes after departure when it experienced the problem. Passengers described a loud bang followed by vibrations and sparks.
The pilots did not initially declare an emergency and would not provide details of the engine problem when queried by air traffic control, according to air traffic control conversations.
After dumping fuel over the Pacific ocean and descending for an approach back at San Francisco, the pilots did declare an emergency however.
One of the pilots onboard Flight 74, with 212 passengers and 18 crew onboard, later told ground controllers that there had been severe damage to the number 4 engine, and that a large amount of sparking continued even after the engine had been shut down.
None of the passengers or crew were injured.