The Associated Press, via this story in The Seattle Times, details the in-flight emergency of the Qantas A380 after the No. 2 engine suffered an uncontained failure.
The account is very dramatic, particularly when the as-yet untold story of the Boeing 787 ZA002 is considered.
Qantas recorded 54 failures, including the near-deployment of the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) that does so only when there is a major system failure. The RAT, as we know, deployed on the 787.
There was also a cascading series of failures on the 787 in the moments before it landed at Laredo (TX) on November 9. Qantas suffered a cascading series of failures, and while the two incidents have entirely different circumstances, the dramatic story of Qantas gives an indication of what can quickly go wrong on an airplane.
Boeing has yet to detail the 90 seconds in which ZA002 went through a fire and systems failures.
What we do know is that power control panel P100 failed. Whether it failed and caught fire or caught fire and then failed has not been revealed. The power failure triggered a series of other failures, including instruments in front of the pilot-in-command, and deployment of the RAT. The co-pilot had his instruments at all times, according to Boeing.
But the back-up systems did not work as intended, and this is a key concern for Boeing and Hamilton Sundstrand, the contractor for the P100 panel.
We understand that the investigation is narrowing elements of what happened, although the “why” remains elusive at this time.
We are certain that some level of redesigns will be required. How long this will affect the program with new delays remains a matter of conjecture.