March 13, 2012

Engine explosion Qantas A380 set to return to skies (VIDEO | 3 PICS)

An investigation report into Qantas A380 oil leaks has been released.
A Qantas Airbus A380 aircraft which was badly damaged when an engine exploded mid-air should be back flying by the end of April.

The superjumbo, named Nancy Bird-Walton after the Australian pioneer aviatrix, has been undergoing extensive repairs in Singapore for the past 16 months.

"All the structural repairs are done, all the wiring is done," the head of Qantas's integrated operations centre Alan Milne said on Tuesday.

"It is a lot of the cabin refresh that we are doing now. Because it has been locked up for so long, we are just trying to clean it all up and get it back to speed."

On November 4, 2010, the double-decker Qantas A380 was flying over Indonesia when an engine exploded caused by what investigators said was a faulty oil pipe.

The uncontained engine failure on one of the four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines sent debris flying in all directions, piercing the wing, puncturing fuel tanks and damaging some wiring and hydraulics.

An open Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Qantas A380 in Sydney. Rolls-Royce says it identified the cause of engine's potentially explosive difficulties.
Parts of the engine also landed on the Indonesian island of Batam.

The pilots managed to land the plane safely back at Singapore's Changi Airport without injury to any of the 433 passengers and 26 crew.

The repairs, which were estimated to cost $135 million, have been carried out by the manufacturer Airbus and technicians from Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

Mr Milne said the aircraft would undergo a series of flight tests in the city-state before being brought back into service.

He said Nancy Bird-Walton would be "as good as a brand new airplane" once all work was finished.

"The end of April is our plan at this point in time. That will be the fly out date from Singapore back to Sydney," Mr Milne said.

Senior Qantas executives, including chief executive Alan Joyce, were expected to be on the flight from Singapore.

On November 4, 2010, the double-decker Qantas A380 was flying over Indonesia when an engine exploded. The superjumbo has been undergoing extensive repairs for the past 18 months

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