No Qantas A380 For You; Airlines Put Planes on Ice During Engine Investigations
Our intimate picture of an A380's Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine
Update 10am EST: Singapore Airlines has also temporarily grounded their 11 A380s.
No, a Qantas superjumbo A380 plane did not crash last night just after takeoff from Singapore's Changi Airport, as some early online reports blared. Yes, a Qantas A380 did meet with trouble when one of its four engines blew, raining debris down on Batam, Indonesia, but thankfully it was able to shut down the engine and safely return to Changi Airport with all 433 passengers and 26 crew unharmed.
Luckily no tragedy occurred as no one was killed or even injured; the only tragedy now is that passengers booked on Qantas may not have a chance to fly one of the fancy double-decker planes as the airline is removing their six from service until the cause of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine fail has been determined. For those booked on other airlines flying the A380 still
Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and Air Franceyou could have a look at our photo gallery on How to Evacuate an Airbus A380, but really we don't think there's anything to worry about.
The A380 is a beautiful, well-built plane and we should know; this incident with the engines may never happen again, or it may, but the important thing is that both Airbus and Rolls Royce are already on the case to make sure that it's the former.
On a related note, it's funny to wake up in the United States to the big news happening on the other side of the world, because with those crazy things called time zones, the airplane hit difficulty around noon today their time, when it was still last night our time. And now their day is over and we're just getting started reporting on the occurrence. Happily that means the news has had a little time to settle and retract their early statements about the plane blowing up, because we're not sure we can handle reading over coffee that over 500 travelers lost their lives in an airplane explosion. Let's hope we never have to.
Note: Air France is currently the only airline flying A380 flights to/from the United States, although Korean Air should start service as well sometime next year.