Just two weeks after an Air France Airbus A380 enroute to Los Angeles from Paris made an emergency landing at Goose Bay Labrador, following the failure of an engine fan hub, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive against the airplane’s Engine Alliance GP7200 series powerplants. The Air France A380’s number four engine on September 30, experienced an uncontained failure while passing just south of Greenland. The aircraft was in cruise flight at the time. The A380 flew west for another two hours before landing at Goose Bay.
The FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive AD 2017-21-51 demands operators conduct a visual inspection of the fan hubs within the next eight weeks, depending upon the number of engine cycles. If damage outside of serviceable limits is observed, the hubs must be replaced with some that have been inspected and found airworthy. The AD says the Engine Alliance products are installed on approximately 125 A380s in service worldwide.
The French BEA is continuing its investigation into the cause of engine failure that prompted the emergency landing and this AD. Air France flight 66 carried 521 crewmembers and passengers, none of whom were injured during this event. Engine Alliance is a 50/50 partnership between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.