An Air France Airbus A380 operating flight AF66 had to declare an emergency and divert to Goose Bay Airport after one of the aircraft’s Engine Alliance GP7270 engines exploded at 37,000ft, around 200nm Southeast of Nuuk, Greenland.
Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (MSN 52) was flying between Paris and Los Angeles when the cowling of engine No.4 (outboard right-hand side) disintegrated, and the low-pressure fan blades separated from the engine. This caused damage to the leading edge of the right wing, and left the high-pressure fan disks of the engines exposed.
The crew made the decision to descend from their cruising altitude of 37,000ft (FL370) to 31,000ft (FL310), and made a safe landing at Goose Bay Airport (YYR / CYYR) in Canada 2 hours later.
Below is a video of the incident aircraft making its emergency landing at Goose Bay:
Passengers reported hearing a loud thud, followed by vibrations, prompting the theory that a fan disk may have failed in the engine.
Up to 2 hours after landing at Goose Bay, passengers were still unable to disembark the aircraft because the airport does not have airstairs to accommodate the A380.
Air France posted a statement on their website relating to the incident:
Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF 066 operated by A380 from Paris-CDG to Los Angeles decided to divert to Goose Bay airport (Canada) following serious damage to one of its four engines
The aircraft landed safely at 15:42 (GMT), and the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly. The passengers are currently being assisted by teams dispatched to the location.
Air France is currently working to re-route the passengers to Los Angeles via one of its connecting platforms in North America.
We will continue to update you on the incident