Qantas and Rolls-Royce reach settlement

23 June 2011

23 June 2011 | Angeline Albert  

Rolls-Royce has agreed a AUD$95 million (£62.5 million) out-of-court settlement with Qantas for the mid-air failure of one of its engines.

The settlement puts an end to the Australian airline’s legal proceedings against the aerospace giant which supplied a Trent 900 engine to Qantas that failed as a result of a manufacturing defect during a flight from Singapore to Sydney in November.

As a result of the incident, the plane had to make an emergency landing and Qantas’ entire A380 fleet, which had been fitted with the Rolls-Royce engines, were grounded for three weeks.

In its interim report, released on 18 May, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the engine’s “disc failure was initiated by a manufacturing defect in an oil feed pipe”. The ATSB’s investigation is ongoing and a final report is expected in mid-2012.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating an occurrence involving a Qantas A380 aircraft that experienced an uncontained engine failure over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. The aircraft landed safely in Singapore having returned with the aircraft's No 2 engine shut down. There were no injuries.

The investigation team has inspected the damaged engine and components and determined the sequence of events that led to the failure of the engine disc.

The investigation is also examining the airframe and systems damage that resulted from the engine disc burst to understand its effect on those systems and the impact on flight safety. That includes their effect on the aircraft's handling and performance and on crew workload. A flight simulator program was used to conduct a number of tests in a certified A380 flight simulator. Analysis of the flight simulation test data is ongoing.

The investigation is continuing.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating an occurrence involving a Qantas A380 aircraft that experienced an uncontained engine failure over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. The aircraft landed safely in Singapore having returned with the aircraft's No 2 engine shut down. There were no injuries.

The investigation team has inspected the damaged engine and components and determined the sequence of events that led to the failure of the engine disc.

The investigation is also examining the airframe and systems damage that resulted from the engine disc burst to understand its effect on those systems and the impact on flight safety. That includes their effect on the aircraft's handling and performance and on crew workload. A flight simulator program was used to conduct a number of tests in a certified A380 flight simulator. Analysis of the flight simulation test data is ongoing.

The investigation is continuing.

Ben Heatley, a spokesman for Rolls-Royce said:“Qantas is a valued customer and we are pleased this matter has been resolved. The agreement is entirely consistent with the financial guidance given with our full year results; that total costs to Rolls-Royce as a result of the incident were £56 million in the 2010 financial year, with some small additional costs in 2011.”

Qantas said in a statement yesterday: “Qantas and Rolls-Royce have had a long and successful commercial partnership spanning several decades. Qantas looks forward to a continued strong relationship with Rolls-Royce on the basis of the settlement announced today.”

 

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