Qantas’s regular QF63 service from Sydney to Johannesburg made a scheduled tech stop into Perth for additional fuel on July 18 as the aircraft, 747-400 VH-OJN, was carrying a spare engine under its left wing for sistership VH-OJL, which had experienced a #3 engine failure on July 16, approximately one hour into its QF64 flight from Johannesburg to Sydney.
The QF64 incident, which made headlines as South Africa’s Springboks rugby union team was onboard the aircraft, is the latest in a string of high profile engine failures caused by disintegrating high pressure compressor blades in Qantas RB211 engines.
”[It] is not a safety risk and is not exclusive to Qantas,” a Qantas spokesman told Fairfax Media of the QF64 incident. ”Other airlines have experienced this type of issue with RB211 engines.”
Qantas says it has fast tracked modifying its Rolls-Royce RB211s with a new design high pressure compressor.
“We are accelerating the rate at which we send RB211s for overhaul in order to fast-track this modification and others over the next 12 to 18 months,” a Qantas spokesman told The Australian.