by Adam Dunning December 3rd, 2010
Qantas has confirmed that it has initiated legal action against engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce following an explosion which forced one of its fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos to make an emergency landing soon after take off from Singapore. The airline said the action was precautionary and hoped an agreeable settlement could be reached between the carrier and Rolls-Royce.
The Australian flag carrier said legal action would allow it to keep its options open in terms of recovering losses incurred after grounding all six of its A380s after the 4 November incident.
The Australian Transport Safety Authority said it had discovered a serious fault in some of the Trent 900 engines used to power the Qantas A380s. Commenting on the findings, Rolls-Royce said the Australian safety authority’s conclusions were consistent with its own findings.
Investigators have identified an issue with a component in the engine which is misaligned. The component caused wear on an oil pipe. The subsequent leak is being blamed for the fire which resulted in the engine exploding. Rolls-Royce said it had already initiated a program of checks on all Trent 900 engines and that the regime had been agreed upon with regulators, with the airlines which use the engine and with planemaker Airbus.
Qantas said it would continue checking the Rolls-Royce engines on all of its A380s as a precaution, but was keen to stress that it did not feel that there was any risk. Of the six superjumbos in the Qantas fleet, two have been put back into service. The carrier said it would be inspecting both planes at its base in Sydney.