Qantas Flight 32: When A Few Millimeters Of Metal Invite Disaster

A common saying is that every disaster is caused by a chain of events, some of which can stretch back by years. Airplane disasters and near-disasters are no exception here, with all too often a small mechanical issue worsening until suddenly everything goes south. In the best case the flight crew is still able to work through the problems and figure out a way to put the aircraft down on firm soil in a single piece. This was the situation that the crew of Qantas Flight 32 (QF32) found themselves forced to deal with, as detailed in a recent article by [Kyra Dempsey], aka [Admiral Cloudberg].

When QF32 started its flight from London Heathrow in early November of 2010, everything seemed normal, but a mere four minutes after take-off from a layover at Singapore on its way to its final destination of Sydney, the #2 engine on the left wing of the Airbus A380 essentially exploded, launching shrapnel through the wing and fuselage. Although the A380 has four engines (numbered 1-4 from the left wing tip) and normally a single engine failure is not a major deal, the loss of systems that got destroyed in the explosion left the crew scrambling to diagnose the damage and implement a solution.

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