Air France: Plane Headed to Los Angeles Suffered Serious Engine Damage Over Atlantic Ocean
(BERLIN) – An Air France flight from Paris to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in eastern Canada on Saturday after one of its four engines sustained “serious damage” over the Atlantic, the airline said.
Air France Flight 66, originating at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, landed at Goose Bay in Labrador at 1542 GMT, the airline said, and no one was hurt in the incident.
“The regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly,” the airline said in a statement.
The aircraft involved in the incident was an Airbus 380 that was about seven years old, according to airfleets.net, an aircraft database. The engine was made by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric Co and United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney unit.
The forced landing in Canada’s easternmost province is reminiscent of an incident seven years ago in which one of the Rolls Royce engines on a Qantas A380 suffered mid-engine damage after taking off in Singapore. The November 2010 incident prompted the grounding of the entire Qantas A380 fleet — six A380s at the time — for over three weeks.
Photographs taken by passengers aboard the Air France flight circulated on the internet soon after the aircraft landed. The images appeared to show that the inlet, or front part, of the engine had torn off, but the main part of the engine was intact. Rick Engebretsen, one of the passengers, wrote a Twitter message saying he had heard a loud thud and felt vibration while in the air. It was not immediately clear how the engine became damaged. Airbus was not immediately available for comment. Engine Alliance said in a statement that it was looking into “reports of an issue” involving one of its engines.
“We heard a big popping sound and the airplane basically dropped and it was trembling. You could definitely tell something was different and it wasn’t just turbulence,” passenger Sarah Eamigh told the Daily News.
Officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday. The airline said it was making arrangements to send the plane’s passengers to their destination of Los Angeles.
Aircraft on trans-Atlantic flights commonly use Goose Bay Airport in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for emergency fueling stops.