…although Qantas evidently doesn’t like to use the “e”-word in this context, preferring to describe this as an “engine issue”.
Fox/AP:Qantas Grounds All A380 Flights After Mid-Air Scare http://is.gd/gHpHE
In the AP photos, the engine cowling of the mega-jumbo aft of the bypass is entirely missing. Passengers reported loud “bangs”, and yellow flames with chunks of debris. A passenger took a photo of shrapnel holes in the wing, which some reports say were getting bigger while the plane was airborne:
Debris was spread over the Indonesian island of Batam, including the missing pieces of the cowling.
AP: Experts said the problem appeared to be an “uncontained engine failure,” which occurs when turbine debris punctures the engine casing and the light cowling that covers the unit.
More details from the “Things With Wings” weblog on Aviation Week’s site, now including many photos of damage and recovered debris:
Qantas Engine Mishap
I’m trying to imagine sitting in an overwing seat on this double-deck giant at 35k’, seeing flames shoot out of the engine, and the upper skin of the wing beginning to peel back. Most important, however, is that the plane landed safely in Singapore without apparent injury to passengers or crew.