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