I was least bit surprised when I learnt that yet another A380 had a problem with its Rolls Royce Engine. This time though it was QF 31, and #4 had to merely be shut down.

Here is the description from AVherald (http://avherald.com/), a site a respect for its quality and credibility:

“A Qantas Airbus A380-800, registration VH-OQC performing flight QF-31 (sched. dep Nov 3rd) from Singapore (Singapore) to London Heathrow,EN (UK) with 258 passengers and 25 crew, was enroute east of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) when the crew needed to shut engine #4 (Trent 972, outboard right hand) down due to a low oil quantity indication. The aircraft drifted down to FL280, diverted to Dubai, entered a holding at FL100 for about one hour and lande safely on runway 30L about 2.5 hours after the engine shut down.

The airline confirmed engine #4 was shut down after the crew noticed problems with an oil quantity.

The aircraft departed Dubai the following day (Nov 5th) and is estimated to reach London with a delay of 31.5 hours.”

So what’s with the RR engines?

There are two major incidents that have occurred in the recent past that have got the eyebrows raised: the Quantas 32 (A380) incident wherein there was an uncontained engine failure, and the British Airways (B777) where ice in the heat exchanger blocked the fuel flow. Thankfully no lives were taken, but it raises questions on the credibility of the engines which once ruled the roost of the powerplants of the skies.

Here are other RR engine incidents which may make you eye the beautiful powerplant beasts with an eye of concern:

  1. Cathay Airbus A330, “thrust lock and compressor stall”, Hongkong, 2010
  2. Lufthansa Airbus A380, “engine shutdown”, Frankfurt, 2010
  3. Qantas Boeing 747, “engine failure, Singapore, 2010.
  4. British Airways Boeing 747, “thrust reverser unlock” on takeoff, forcing slat retraction, Johannesburg, 2010
  5. Emirates Airbus A330, “uncontained engine failure”, Dubai, 2006.
  6. European Air charter Boeing 747, “engine surge” on takeoff, Reunion, 2004
  7. Edelweiss Airbus A330, “uncontained engine failure”, Miami, 2003.

There could be more, but these figures speak a silent story.