A few months back a Quantas Airbus 380 had a huge engine failure that caused a lot of damage to the wing. But, the aircraft made a perfectly safe landing.
As a precaution Quantas grounded all their a380’s while the incident was investigated. The problem was promptly identified and fixed.
Today I saw an article on Sky News following an interview with one of the pilots and I think it would benefit any nervous flyers to read it. A copy of the article follows;
The airline grounded its fleet of the world’s biggest passenger jets in the wake of the dramatic emergency landing in Singapore last November, raising safety fears about the planes.
But in his first TV interview, Richard de Crespigny told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes programme that the aircraft performed “brilliantly” despite being badly damaged by flying debris from the faulty engine.
The explosion affected two other engines as well as the one which was destroyed, and crippled many of the plane’s systems.
Electrically, the left-hand side of the aircraft was dead. We lost 50% of the hydraulic systems. The brakes underneath the wings were reduced to 30% braking efficiency.
Only three out of the 11 fuel tanks functioned. No jettison system was available We had multiple holes in the wing which disrupted the airflow over the wing.
Capt de Crespigny was helped by four other pilots – the two regular flight crew plus two other Qantas captains who were on board for routine checks.
Together they had 140 years experience, and after an hour and three-quarters of assessing the damage they decided to treat the massive jet like a glider.
You prepare for the worst and you hope for the best. But the preparation in this case was putting us within gliding range of Singapore and that’s something I haven’t done since I was in the Air Force,
He landed the aircraft safely, saving the lives of 469 people on board, and paid tribute to the design of the aircraft.
The wing was cluster-bombed. The aircraft had phenomenal damage in all systems. And it didn’t just recover, it performed brilliantly. It is indestructible.
When reminded that’s what they said about the Titanic, he replied:
The Titanic sank.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce identified the fault which led to the explosion and Qantas has resumed flying the A380s.
End of article.
How refreshing it is to see a pilot not implying it was his skill that led to the safe landing, but instead gave praise to the incredible design of the aircraft.