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More Concerns for Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines on A380

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From the Wall Street Journal....

 

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444011904577575741920560850.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

 

By ANDY PASZTOR And JON OSTROWER

 

European air-safety regulators ordered another round of high-priority inspections of Rolls-Royce RR.LN -0.35%PLC engines on dozens of Airbus A380 aircraft, similar to checks they mandated after an engine blowout caused nearly catastrophic damage to a Qantas superjumbo in 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MK-BW339_TUBES_D_20120808181449.jpg

 

 

European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. EAD.FR +1.21%

The latest safety directive was prompted by a malfunction of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Hong Kong last month, said an industry official familiar with the details. Nobody was hurt, pilots shut down the engine and the plane returned safely to Singapore.

But investigators now believe some of the engine's turbines seized up due to inadequate lubrication because a part between an oil tube and a cover for some bearings was never installed, according to the European Aviation Safety Agency. European regulators on Tuesday ordered some carriers to finish the safety checks and complete necessary repairs by the end of the month—an unusually short deadline for most safety directives.

More than 200 Trent 900 engines are being checked for the missing part, with 30 engines identified as a priority, said the industry official. All of the priority engines currently flying on A380s have been checked, the official said.

Rolls-Royce said the lack of lubrication was traced to a part that was omitted during assembly. "As a precautionary measure, checks to ensure the correct fitting of the component are now well advanced," said company spokesman Bill O'Sullivan. "Measures have been taken to prevent a repeat occurrence," Mr. O'Sullivan added.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. C6L.SG -0.09%served as launch customer for the A380 and the Trent 900 engine in 2007. It has been joined by Rolls-Royce engine customers Qantas Airways Ltd., QAN.AU -3.04%Deutsche Lufthansa AG, LHA.XE -0.69%China Southern Airlines Co. ZNH +0.55%and, most recently,Malaysia Airlines System Bhd.

Emirates Airline, Air France-KLM AF.FR -1.48%and Korean Air Lines Co. 003490.SE +1.14%operate the A380 with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. Engine Alliance is a joint venture between General Electric Co. GE +0.24%and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. UTX -0.58%

The inspections will search for potential fractures of certain oil tubes, and consider whether nearby portions of bearing covers need to be replaced. Such fractures can reduce oil flow and may damage bearings. Reduced lubrication may result in engine disintegration or "uncontained engine failure," according to the directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency, which could cause fractured internal pieces to blast through engine coverings and damage other parts of the airplane.

The oil tubes pinpointed in the directive are different from those under previous scrutiny, but the inspections again draw attention to potential hazards stemming from oil leaks, pools of oil inside engine compartments and the fires they sometimes spark.

Earlier safety directives by European and U.S. regulators ordered inspections to identify and eliminate such dangers on other Airbus and Boeing Co. jetliners powered by engines supplied by various makers. Prompted by an in-flight engine fire and eight other dangerous oil-system incidents that affected engines made by Pratt & Whitney, the Federal Aviation Administration previously mandated enhanced inspections of oil tubes on more than 900 of the company's widely used PW 4000 engines.

In the dramatic 2010 Qantas accident, investigators determined that a manufacturing flaw affecting some oil tubes initiated a chain of events that caused an engine disc to fail on a heavily loaded A380 shortly after takeoff from Singapore. The engine spewed out flames and a trail of metal debris, which badly damaged portions of the wing and swaths of electrical wiring.

The Qantas pilots confronted an unprecedented cascade of fuel leaks,widespreadsystem failures and flight-computer malfunctions after the engine explosion, including stall warnings and inoperative fuel pumps as they were on final approach to touching back down in Singapore. The crew struggled to shut down one of the jet's engines, compounding worries the overheated brakes and a small fire that had melted portions of the tarmac would pose a greater fire danger as fuel continued to leak from the stricken jet.

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You should have just posted the link to the story! Re-posting the entire story here is a violation of WSJ's copyright (Unless you have their permission, but I don't see any statement or disclaimer to that effect!!)

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yeah thanks, I am fully aware of the copyright laws....for some reason the top of the article was cropped off.

 

I have re-added to link

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yeah thanks, I am fully aware of the copyright laws....for some reason the top of the article was cropped off.

 

I have re-added to link

 

 

...but you still posted the text...

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Yes, like I said, the top of the text was cropped off after I hit submit. Please forgive my error, I shall ran away and slash my wrists or buy a cheap whip and make my own back bleed. :P

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Don't worry about the backseat moderators.

Thanks for posting the article!

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...but you still posted the text...

 

Doesn't bother me any....This way I can just read the article without clicking over there and seeing all the annoying advertisement.

 

Slap on the wrist for Will (Kind of like doing 57mph in a 55mph zone). Not the end of the world. :P

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