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The ATSB is investigating an in-flight engine shutdown involving Qantas Airbus A380, VH-OQG, near Los Angeles, United States, on 20 May 2017.

Passing about 32,500 ft on climb, the No. 4 engine experienced an increase in engine vibration. The flight crew shut the No. 4 engine down. The aircraft returned to Los Angeles Airport and landed without further incident.  

The aircraft (VH-OQG) was powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines. A borescope inspection of the affected engine was completed on 26 May, which showed damage from Stage 2 onwards of the low pressure turbine.

An engineering team from Rolls Royce will be undertaking a controlled strip of the engine and a detailed investigation, with an estimated completion date of 16 June. The strip and further investigation will be overseen by representatives from Airbus, Qantas, the ATSB’s partner agency in France (BEA), and in communication with the ATSB’s partner agency in the UK (AAIB).

A final safety report will be released following the conclusion of the ATSB’s investigation. Should a safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.


General details
Date: 20 May 2017 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 5:42 UTC Investigation phase: Final report: External review 
Location   (show map):near Los Angeles International Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Incident 
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2018 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Airbus 
Aircraft model: A380-842 
Aircraft registration: VH-OQG 
Serial number: 0047 
Operator: Qantas AIrways 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Sector: Jet 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Los Angeles, US
Destination:Melbourne, Vic.
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Last update 11 July 2018