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A team of four ATSB investigators has commenced the investigation into the occurrence involving a QANTAS A380 aircraft that sustained an engine failure shortly after departing Singapore yesterday, en route to Australia. The investigators arrived in Singapore overnight and commenced examining the aircraft this afternoon.

Speaking today in Canberra at a media conference, Mr Ian Sangston, General Manager Aviation Safety Investigations, said "an investigation of this complexity can take up to a year to complete. However, should any critical safety issues emerge, the ATSB will immediately bring those issues to the attention of the relevant authorities."

A preliminary factual report will be available by 3 December 2010.

Mr Sangston reported the aircraft's flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been recovered and returned to Australia. The flight data recorder was downloaded in Sydney this morning and work is ongoing to download the remaining recorders. The cockpit voice recorder will be downloaded in the ATSB's Canberra technical facilities.

The ATSB team in Singapore is arranging for the damaged engine to be taken to a local facility for inspection.  The aircraft will also be inspected for other damage.

The ATSB is working with its counterparts, including the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of Singapore and the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC)  to coordinate investigation activity.  Representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA), Airbus, Rolls Royce and Qantas are also involved, in accordance with international protocols.

Indonesian representatives are supervising the collection and preservation of physical evidence on Indonesian territory. Mr Sangston thanked the Indonesia officials for their cooperation. The ATSB has quarantined a number of aircraft components for later technical examination.

The aircraft, operating as QF32 departed Singapore at 0957am local time. It appears that a number of abnormal engine indications on the No 2 engine commenced about 4 minutes after takeoff. The engine shut down at about 1001. The aircraft returned safely to Singapore, landing at 1147 after reducing its fuel load.

The occurrence, which occurred over Indonesian territory, is being investigated by the ATSB after being delegated by the Indonesian NTSC in accordance with international protocols.  Further investigation updates will be published on the ATSB website as information becomes available.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011

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