Air France A380 Loses Part Of Engine Over Atlantic, Diverts To Goose Bay

Well this is crazy. The Aviation Herald has the story of how Air France 66 (which was supposed to fly from Paris to Los Angeles) diverted to Goose Bay today. You can find the FlightAware page for the ~6hr30min flight here.

Here’s what happened:

An Air France Airbus A380-800, registration F-HPJE performing flight AF-66 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Los Angeles,CA (USA), was enroute at FL370 about 200nm southeast of Nuuk (Greenland) when the inlet of the #4 engine (GP7270, outboard right hand) separated from the engine. The crew descended the aircraft to FL310 and diverted to Goose Bay,NL (Canada) for a safe landing about 2 hours later.

A passenger reported there was a loud thud followed by vibrations.

The passengers report they are still on board of the aircraft about 2 hours after landing because the airport does not have stairs to accomodate the A380.

I can’t believe the pictures of the engine, which are all over Twitter.

Thank goodness everyone was okay and that the plane landed safely. It must have been terrifying to hear a loud thud and then see that, and especially to have to keep flying for another two hours.

I’m curious to see how they accommodate passengers. The last report I saw suggests they weren’t able to get passengers off the plane since they didn’t have stairs big enough. I suspect Air France will send a “rescue” plane soon.

Comments

  1. The entire N1 fan assembly is gone! WOW! That is definitely a big deal for GE and P&W! Their engine on the A380 has already become less popular, with Emirates shifting their engine choice to RR. Now this!!!

  2. This makes me miss the four-engine 747 even more acutely.
    Yeah…yeah…yeah…I know about ETOPS.
    “Engines turn or passengers swim.”
    I’d say many trousers were properly shat on that flight.
    Glad nobody was hurt.

  3. Thing like that are the reason I have always preferred to fly on planes with 4 engines.
    As bad as it looks, there were still 3 engines working perfectly, while if that was a B777, B787, A350, A330 I am sure things would not have been so smooth as they were in this case.

  4. I’m sure everyone is happy to be on the ground.

    As for a rescue flight from Paris, I suspect it’s more likely Delta may step in an operate a rescue flight or two

    The aircraft is likely to be out of service for a while

  5. I’m on the plane. We can’t get off because they have nowhere to put us. We’re told two planes will be coming to pick us up and take us directly to LAX. They won’t be here for another four to five hours and they are turning off the plane soon.

    Everybody on this plane appreciates the pilots job in making sure we land safely. It was a very loud thud, violent shaking and some drops. As much as the wait is ridiculous, I’m just happy to be responding to this.

  6. It looks like Air France is doing a piss-poor job with the passengers trapped — zero updates for hours, flight attendants chatting amongst themselves instead of serving drinks, and passengers literally learning from the internet if there are any other planes coming to rescue them.

    https://twitter.com/johnnybirk/with_replies

    Air France is to be avoided.

  7. @Michael: “nowhere to put you?” Are you not at an airport? Is the issue no stairs, in which case they have to get you all off somehow, right?
    So glad you are ok.

  8. Peter. As far as I understand Inbound Montreal Paris cancelled and aircraft crew repositioning to transport passengers to LAX and another aircraft chartered
    Frustrating wait but like most people I would be happy to be on the ground for a few hours
    The crew are affected by this as much as the passengers and have to wait before they can update everyone
    When Cathay had an incident over the Pacific also to LA and diverted to a small Alaskan island it was a similar situation

  9. plane damaged? yes.
    scary? you better believe it.
    plane in danger of falling out of the sky? hell will freeze first.

    planes have 2 or more engines not only for balance of the aircraft but its also the first safety feature. if one engine fails the other 1, 2 or3 will keep the plane in the air until it can make a safe landing. pilots have been trained to deal with emergencies such as all engines dying so 1 is no big deal. I know this because my grandpa is a retired pilot, his oldest son is a current airline pilot, my mother has her pilots license, and his youngest son is a charter pilot.

  10. Air France customer service has been telling family different stories. Rumor is we will be picked up around in another 6 hours or so. That makes it 12 hours stuck on this plane since we have grounded. Air France told my mother n law that there is a customs issue with us leaving the plane. Sounds like we will be flown to somewhere else and will catch a plane that departs at 7:15am.

    Flight staff were great during the incident and have been terrible since. No food, they are short with everyone and nobody has been giving us updates. They were letting people off to smoke 15 at a time. We haven’t eaten in almost 7 hours. Thankful to be on the ground but we all just want to go home and it seems nobody is trying to help.

  11. Apparently a locally chartered 737 (from somewhere near) and an AF 777-200 from YUL are both on the way. Gonna be interesting how they work this process through and where the planes end up going. Gonna be even more interesting how long that 380 sits in Goose Bay awaiting investigations and repairs. And the stairs thing is absurd. They just don’t have the facilities to handle that many passengers and so they are using the stairs as an excuse to try and keep people from demanding to be removed into an airport that is ill equipped to handle that many passengers.

  12. @Michael. I can’t even imagine how crappy this experience is. For those in economy and with kids it must be petty awful. Best thing is to try and sleep.

  13. FabinhoBP: I had a discussion once with a pilot about the “safety” of 4 vs. 2 engines. It’s an illusion that 4 are safer. There are also twice as many engines to malfunction. There is the hypothetical risk of shrapnel from an engine failure on one side hitting the opposite engine (on underwing engine planes), but this has never had that I am aware of.

  14. Thanks…we are in Econ like most people. I can’t say it enough. Everyone is grateful we on safe and on the ground. Getting mad cause Air France is telling our family calling and wanting answers that we have been removed from the plane and that they are shocked to hear we aren’t. There is clearly a massive communications error with their crisis team.

    I totally understand that they can’t accommodate us. There is 496 of us.l and this isn’t an airport made to handle us or this plane. The residents had to be in awe when they saw us coming in.

    Trying to hold out sleep since we live in California and need to adjust back to the time. I’ve been up for 24 hours now and on a plane for 20 of that.

  15. I feel really bad for those with kids. There is one lady with a dog. Terrible but surprisingly the kids on board are trooopers and holding up. Doesn’t seem to be many. A lot of older people on here.

  16. I know it’s a different engine, but similar incident to Qantas QF32 out of Singapore in 2010 that grounded their A380 fleet for months!

    Does the A380 not have a nose wheel ladder like the B747? I know it would be very slow to deplane that way, but surely got to be better that being stuck on the airplane for 12+ hours?

  17. @Dale — technically, they could deplane via stairs. Goose Bay (YYR) has handled diversions from aircraft such as 767s (UA), 787s (VS), A330s (SE), A340s (SK). In the past, they’ve also dealt with aircraft as large as the 747 Space Shuttle Carrier. The issue lies not within the physical equipment used to deplane passengers (stairs + busses), but rather with the CBSA. YYR’s customs office is only meant to deal with GA flights, meaning a maximum of 15 passengers per flight instead of the 500 aboard the Air France A380.

  18. Unfortunate incident to AF66, and the first failure of a GP7270 of this nature, which according to me was not due to any fault of the engine. Apparently, the engineering staff had not secured and checked the fasteners and locks on the nacelle/cowling, which has led to the cowling separating from the nacelle and fan assembly. Lucky that the fan blades broke off and were blown backwards and not sideways.
    As the aircraft is not going anywhere soon, the passengers could be deplaned via the emergency chutes, at those who want to get off.

  19. I wonder why they did not divert to Gander Nfld which obviously has much better infrastructure and experience with diverted aircraft (vis a vis 9/11). Weather perhaps?

    If you ever get a chance see the play “Come from away” which details how Gander handled thousands of people for days from aircraft divert as a result of 9/11

  20. @ Dale, the Qantas incident is different in that it was an uncontained turbine failure due to a manufacturing mistake on an oil pipe. This is much more significant in that the whole fan has gone AWOL. Much bigger problem for GE/P&W than the problem RR had

  21. They LOST their engine number four. Even thought main part of engine is still in place, they had shut down it and always they say “we lost engine”. Anyone will not get in mind to try start it again, so it is lost than they will say that. This sophistry “it isn’t lost” is just as ridiculous that tell you, that you say that “there is not sunrise and sunset”. Still 99,99% of whole worlds native English people will say that. Don’t lost your brain 🙂

  22. Impressive that shrapnel damage looks to be minimal given the momentum contained within the fan. Based on updates on AvHerald, hydraulic fluid loss was low. Still, perhaps a move to MEA warranted with the higher compression ratios and demands for GTEs in coming years.

  23. the moronic american “news” was reporting maybe a bird strike. Yup, 35,000 feet above–those darn birds! american stupidity excites me-Gore Vidal.

  24. They’re french–c’est la vie. Things happen, and the american want push-button as Jacque Derrida noted. They want instantaneous, yesterday, quick-quick, and the illusion of “quality.” Sad. Relax–you’re alive. Read a book instead of phone diddling and playing with phones/narcopathic pics.

  25. AF4080 – AF 349 30 Sept Montreal paris cancelled and crew aircraft repositioned

    Probably simpler to reaccommodate and reroute passengers from Montreal on cancelled AF349 onto alt flights. Aircraft flew to goose bay to pick up passengers and flew them to Atlanta

    The question is why not fly to LAX?
    it’s possible due to crew hours and logistics

    Perhaps passengers who were not terminating at LAX were rebooked onwards to their destinations from ATL

    Whilst people will be upset, perhaps angry
    In the end they landed safely in Canada and arrived late I’m sure stressed hungry and tired

    There are terrible things happening in the world so I’m sure the majority will be thankful or at least should be

    I’ve also read comments on other sites from people who think airlines can just operate a backup like calling a cab

    They have absolutely no idea of the logistics and think airlines can simply conjure up another aircraft and should have a fleet of spares at every airport worldwide

  26. @Morris Belemans. In fact ruppell’s vultures have been spotted at 37000 feet
    Cranes and bar headed geese at over 29000 feet

  27. Now that all seem safe and, if I understand, on their way — can we turn to discussion of the future? Why can’t it be planned in advance to relax customs regulations in emergency cases like this? (also the resent Swiss 777). Is there anything to be done about the treatment of passengers in such cases?

  28. @Morris Not sure where you are from but your smugness is only as hilarious as the fact that you were watching said American news and now are commenting in a U.S. based blog. Please don’t generalize Americans as being stupid. I say this in the same manner as I would to my 9 year old daughter if she generalized other societies, races, religions. And yes, while a bird strike is not the situation here and is in fact very very rare, Icarus is correct in that high altitude bird strikes have actually been reported and shown to be possible.

  29. Stuat–sorry was not meant to be smug. Just that given 400+years of hustling and huckstering that’s what you get. Nothing. A shallow/dark/empty “society” based on a pseudo “narrative”: get money and expand. Most americans tour the world breaking wind through their mouths. I tell you, if you are into humor, it’s a great time to be alive! Stay thirsty my 1st class friends!

  30. @ Morris. Let’s see. 400 years ago I believe there was not much in the way of “American” society. But that’s ok, the pilgrims and persecuted who came here originally surely appreciate that you have now given them Independence and a defined culture in your historical timeline. But really, it’s not relevant. The rest of what you say, well, how about this…tell me where you are from and what culture and society you hold so dear as being pure? I am curious now and based on that happy to offer you my shallow and empty response. Personally, and I am just speculating here, but it sounds like you might hail from the nation of Fantasy Land. Lastly, nice reference to the “stay thirsty, my friend” I see you are watching American beer commercials and what you call “pseudo narratives” and allowing it to affect your own words and language. So I leave you with this, “be original, friend.”

  31. From pics is clear that:
    Front nacelle and intake are gone, same for cold compressor (fan) and same for LP and almost all HP compressor, because some small blades of rotor are there.
    The shaft broken is shocking.
    I hope NTSB will investigate about that.
    Same from GE/PW side

  32. @Morris Every post you’ve ever made on a travel blog has been an anti-American screed. And tedious, too. What sad place do you call home?

  33. @Stuart

    I’m sympathetic to your counter-blast at Morris, but 400 years ago the Americas were stuffed full of thriving societies – though some may have already succumbed to disease and genocide at the hands of more recent arrivals.

    For a gentle introduction do a mileage run to lovely Vancouver and check out the wonderful museum of anthropology there. Other museums are available.

  34. @Paul I am not arguing at all the 400 year history of colonization. I will argue though that this, at that period, should be labeled as “purely an American experience” and somehow related to Morris’ deep and troubling hatred that seems to be directed at one nation and people. That somehow this translates to the issues we have as a nation and is any different than the atrocities that have occurred everywhere in the world amidst virtually all cultures is completely misguided. Man’s inhumanity to man and the stupidity that Morris attempts to plaster on the faces of every American…as if we are solely responsible for the world’s ills…is short-sighted at best. It is why I asked him of the place HE is from that allows him to spew such bitterness to another nation as I am quite certain misgivings and mistakes can be attached to his heritage as well. Every nation and culture has their faults and their place in history in which they must hang their head in shame. Are there stupid Americans? Of course. Ignorance is not a nation though. Ignorance is human. The best we can do to begin the process of being better stewards to our cultures and to the world community is fight back at diatribes like Morris provides repeatedly so as not to create more ignorance and even more hatred than we already have.

  35. @Morris Belemans. As far as I’m aware this is a travel forum

    You ramble like a dotard and attempt to sound intelligent when you clearly have issues

    If you were intelligent might I suggest you use a pseudonym in future

    You wrote the same crap on slippeddisc.com relating to a violist from the Los Angeles Philharmonic or collectivehub 🙂

    Nothing to do with the subject matter

  36. “Chris_IOW says:
    September 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    So headline should be “loses part of Nacelle”…not engine”

    I thought the fan and inlet were part of the engine?
    I mean if you can see the fan on that photo please enlighten me because I can’t.

  37. Morris, I wouldn’t say that we are dark. Maybe shallow, ignorant, arrogant, gullible and (if you go to the east coast you will experience more people that are) uptight and standoffish. That would be more accurate description, in many cases.

    I was born and raised in America and lived here a couple of decades, so I know.

    If you don’t live here and don’t have to deal directly with the type of attitudes/demeanors that you dislike on a daily basis, then don’t complain. Just be happy to experience it from a distance. It is what it is, so let it be. It’s still waaay better than some other regions in the world, however. Not to mention, we also have the hip hop capital of the world, which is Atlanta! Yeeee!

    …Not that I really care about (the current state of) hip hop too much anymore these days.

    Just thought I’d throw in my two cents.

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