On November 4th, 2010 Qantas A380 VH-OQA (“Nancy Bird Walton”) was operating flight QF32 from Singapore to Sydney. During the climb out from Singapore, the number 2 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine’s Intermediate Pressure Turbine appears to have failed and flown apart, sending bits through the aircraft’s wing in multiple locations and raining debris down on Batam island, Indonesia. After assessing the problem, determining their options and burning off fuel, the crew were able to return the aircraft to Singapore for a safe landing.
In this episode of Flying Down Under, we play excerpts from our chat with Captain Richard Woodward, a Qantas A380 Check Captain who tells us what it’s like to fly the A380, what systems it has on board and what the crew would have been going through when faced with such a catastrophic failure. You can hear the full interview in Episode 46 of the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast.