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This investigation report was originally released in August 2012. This revision contains an update based on additional information from the outcomes of the engine manufacturer’s internal investigation into the occurrence.

What happened

On 16 October 2011, at about 1033 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Boeing 747-438 aircraft, registered VH-OJS, operated by Qantas Airways, departed Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand on a scheduled passenger flight to Sydney, Australia.
About 8 minutes into the flight, as the aircraft was climbing through 13,000 ft, the crew reported hearing a loud bang and experiencing vibrations and abnormal indications from the No. 3 engine. Fumes were also reported in the cabin for several minutes after the event.

The flight crew shutdown the engine and broadcast a ‘PAN’ before jettisoning approximately 55 tonnes of fuel and returning to Bangkok where the aircraft landed safely at 1147 UTC. The engine failure was fully contained and there were no reported injuries to passengers or crew.

 

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 23

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Download Original Report
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On 16 October 2011 at 1033 Coordinated Universal Time, a Boeing Company 747-438 aircraft registered VH-OJS, operated by Qantas Airways departed Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand on a scheduled passenger flight to Sydney, Australia. Shortly after takeoff, the flight crew reported hearing a loud bang and experiencing vibrations and abnormal indications from the No.3 engine. The flight crew shut the engine down and declared a PAN before returning the aircraft safely to Bangkok.

Disassembly and inspection of the engine revealed that the engine failure was as a result of the release of a single, stage 7, intermediate pressure compressor blade from the compressor disc slot. The factors contributing to the blade release are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the engine manufacturer. If further information becomes available relating to the engine failure, the ATSB will update this report.

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General details
Date: 16 October 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1041 UTC Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):near Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, Thailand Occurrence type:Engine failure or malfunction 
State: International Occurrence class: Technical 
Release date: 03 August 2012 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 747 
Aircraft registration: VH-OJS 
Serial number: 25564 
Operator: Qantas Airways Limited 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Sector: Jet 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Bangkok, Thailand
Destination:Sydney, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 01 March 2016