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Station:    CANBERRA CONFERENCE                  Date:          03/12/2010

Program:    PRESS CONFERENCE                     Time:          10:30 AM

Compere:    0                                    Summary ID:    C00041634633



Audience:       Male 16+            Female 16+             All people
                N/A                 N/A                    N/A
COMPERE:                   And as you can see we are standing by to take you
                           live to ATSB, that's the Australian Transport Safety
                           Bureau [indistinct] into the Qantas A380 drama.
                           And we'll keep an eye on that one.

                           [Unrelated item: weather]

                           And we are standing by to go to Canberra for an
                           Australian Transport Safety Bureau media briefing.
                           It will accompany the release of its preliminary
                           factual investigation report into last month's engine
                           failure on board the Qantas flight QF32 over
                           Indonesia. The ATSB chief commissioner Mr
                           Martin Dolan will present the facts gathered from
                           the investigation to date, and will also take us
                           through the key safety actions that the relevant
                           parties have taken to prevent a recurrence.
                                                             Page: 2

                Of course Qantas grounded its fleet for three weeks
                and recently just got back off the ground.

                We'll go live to this news conference now.

MARTIN DOLAN:   Good morning everyone. Martin Dolan, the chief
                commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety
                Bureau. I'm here to introduce the release of our
                preliminary factual report into an in-flight
                uncontained engine failure over Batam Island in
                Indonesia of an Airbus 380 aircraft operating as
                Qantas flight 32.

                This has been a fast-moving investigation with a
                range of actions already taken in response to what
                we've found. The report we're releasing describes
                the facts as we currently understand them of the
                occurrence and the sequence of events. It also sets
                out what we understand to be the most likely
                mechanism of engine failure, and outlines safety
                action that has already been taken in response to

                In essence the report outlines that the aircraft took
                off from Singapore, and in the course of climbing
                from Singapore, the crew heard two loud bangs in
                the engine, received indications of a failure in the
                number two engine, undertook a lengthy series of
                actions to establish the extent of damage and their
                capacity to control and direct the aircraft, and then
                planned and executed a safe landing back in
                Singapore with no injury to passengers or crew.
                                              Page: 3

The report indicates that the occurrence was
essentially the result of an uncontained engine
failure. Elements of an intermediate pressure
turbine disk, segments of that disk were liberated
through the engine damaging the left wing and the
fairing between the left wing of the aircraft and the
fuselage of the aircraft.

There was considerable damage an… to the aircraft,
and effects of a number of the aircraft systems.

The report goes into some detail as to the crew's
response to that action, and I'll get back to that in a

The investigation is ongoing. These investigations
are complex and involve a range of international
organisations and agencies. The initial assessment
was that the most likely cause of the engine failure
was problems with release of oil into a particular
part of the engine, leading to an oil fire and the
consequences finally in the liberation of the disk

That was initially responded to be ensuring that
there were regular inspections for any oil leakages
in the relevant elements of the Trent 900 series
engine, and the Airbus 380, and on that basis, with
caution, continued operations of the aircraft were
seen as acceptable.
                                            Page: 4

In the course of investigation in the last 48 hours,
we, working with Rolls Royce and others,
determine that there was a particular problem that
had to that stage not been identified. And we
therefore yesterday issued a safety recommendation
in relation to that issue which was essentially a
manufacturing defect, or potential manufacturing
defect in oil pipes in a number of Trent 900 series
engines which had the potential to lead to fatigue
cracking - the liberation of oil - and the sorts of
things that happened with the engine in the incident
over Batam Island.

Since then, Rolls Royce has issued a procedure for
checking all the relevant engines to determine
whether or not the problem that we have identified
does exist in any of those engines, and if the
problem is detected in any of the engines, those
engines will be taken out of service.

Additionally, the European Aviation Safety Agency
has issued an authorisation of an upgrade of the
engine controlled software for the Trent 900 series
engines which is designed as a defence against
possible turbine disk overspeeds in the future. It
will essentially detect the precursors to that - and
will enable the engine to be shut down if those
precursors to a potential overspeed are seen in the

The report goes on to outline the details of the
actions taken by the crew in response to what you'll
understand was a very challenging situation, their
                                             Page: 5

methodical assessments of a range of error reports,
the status of the aircraft, their professional and
focused handling of the situation, and their safe
landing in Singapore.

The investigation is continuing. The report outlines
a range of further lines of inquiry. We are not yet at
the stage where we can definitively say that the
fatigue problem, potential fatigue problem with the
oil pipe that has been detected is the cause of what
happened over Batam Island, but we think it is
significant enough as a safety issue in any event that
needed to be identified - and it has been safely dealt

This investigation we think has been a very positive
example of international cooperation amongst
safety agencies and with manufacturers of aircraft
and operators of aircraft, and manufacturers of

In getting to the point where we have, we were
particularly reliant on very effective operation with
Rolls Royce. And we think the investigation to date
- and we hope will continue to be - a very effective
example of cooperation in the interests of
identifying problems and maintaining aviation

That's essentially it. The report has some more
details. But I'm happy to take questions on any
elements of that.
                                                             Page: 6

QUESTION:       Given the flaw you found in these oil pipes, was the
                two flights Qantas had - the A380s in recent weeks,
                were they safe flights?

MARTIN DOLAN:   The problem has been identified at this stage as far
                as I'm aware only in the oil pipe of the engine that
                was on the aircraft who's in… where the
                uncontained disk liberation happened.

MARTIN DOLAN:   There's an inspection regime in place to determine
                whether or not that problem exists in any other

QUESTION:       But you said that was a manufacturing flaw, so it
                could potentially exist in other engines.

MARTIN DOLAN:   Indeed, it could potentially exist in other engines
                which is why the inspection regime is in place.

QUESTION:       How long until we get the results of that?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We understand that there's urgent inspections going
                on. We haven't been given the details from
                individual airlines as to exactly what they're doing
                but they're aware that the risk exists and they will
                obviously inspect for it because they operate the
                aircraft with engines.

QUESTION:       Should this flaw be - would it have been possible to
                do - to detect this visually by inspecting it?
                                                              Page: 7

MARTIN DOLAN:   Its - its oil pipes leading into an internal bearing
                arrangement within the engine and so inspection in
                fact was a very difficult thing and it has - has had to
                be a very highly specialised inspection procedure
                and equipment put in place to actually test for the
                potential problem.

QUESTION:       So maintenance could not have spotted this -
                spotted the problem?

MARTIN DOLAN:   It was given that no one was aware that the
                potential problem existed. It's highly unlikely that
                any maintenance would have been able to establish
                this potential problem.

QUESTION:       Is there anything from the investigation so far to
                suggest that there's any problem other than the
                engine, like with the Airbus, the A380 at all other
                than the engines or with Qantas and the way Qantas
                has been handling its maintenance and…

MARTIN DOLAN:   We have seen no maintenance related issues in
                relation to this event. We are currently still
                examining the extent of the damage as a result of
                liberation of the engine parts and so it is obvious
                that there was considerable damage to the aircraft
                but that's not as we - we can't at this stage say much
                more than that. I think the thing we should all
                reflect on is that despite considerable damage the
                aircraft was controlled and was safely landed in
                                                             Page: 8

QUESTION:       So an A380 aircraft should not fly until these safety
                inspections are complete?

MARTIN DOLAN:   There's a potential problem with engines. So those
                engines should be inspected before flights occur,

QUESTION:       Are they - have they been grounded world wide?
                Do you know what the situation is?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We don't have all the details of the situation. The
                procedure was only promulgated by Rolls-Royce
                overnight. What we are aware of is that for Qantas
                there was an immediate response to our safety
                recommendation which was to do inspections of
                their operating aircraft in advance of their projected
                future operation. So that's something that's currently
                being completed by Qantas.

QUESTION:       How long before all the - all the Trent 500 engines
                have the software upgrade you mentioned?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We've only just see the announcement from IASA
                as to the approval of the software upgrade and we
                don't have information at this point as to how long
                that will take. I understand informally that it can be
                done quite quickly.

QUESTION:       When did you make the safety recommendation to
                                                              Page: 9

MARTIN DOLAN:   We made the safety recommendation - I'm just
                trying to remember the sequence of events, it's been
                a rather busy 48 hours. The evening of the - what's
                today? The third. The evening of 1 December.

QUESTION:       Have they seen the report?

MARTIN DOLAN:   Yes they got an advanced copy of our report as an
                interested party in our investigation.

QUESTION:       The two [indistinct] you discovered in the last 48
                hours, is that linked at all to the leaks in the three
                other Qantas engines that they found oil leaks in
                and the smears in the Singapore Airline Trent
                engine as well? Are they directly related?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We don't have enough information at this stage to
                rule in or rule out that sort of relationship. Our best
                assessment at this point is that there's two potential
                causes of oil leakage; (1) that relates to a fitment of
                an oil tube and whether that's reliable in terms of
                the oil and the second is this potential fatigue
                cracking in a particular oil pipe. We're still working
                through the various elements of this and so at this
                stage we're not saying anything definitively about
                that other than oil and oil fire is the highly probable
                cause of what happened over Batam Island.

QUESTION:       [Inaudible]…

MARTIN DOLAN:   We are satisfied that with the inspection regime
                that's in place in the borescope of - to detect
                                                             Page: 10

                whether there is a problem leading to a potential
                fatigue and in the quick implementation of the
                software upgrade, that all the necessary safety
                action has been taken.

QUESTION:       [Inaudible]…

MARTIN DOLAN:   We at this stage don't have full information to make
                a firm assessment of that and so you should take our
                comments at this stage as relating to the Trent 900
                series engine generally.

QUESTION:       You touched on the professional and focused
                conduct of the crew on board the aircraft. How
                crucial was that to the safe arrival of the aircraft in

MARTIN DOLAN:   The aircraft would not have arrived safely in
                Singapore without the focus and effective action of
                the flight crew.

QUESTION:       You said that the leaky oil pipe is a significant
                finding. You haven't established exactly what
                happened here but do you feel that you have solved
                - you've worked out what's happened in this case?

MARTIN DOLAN:   What we know is that we have identified a
                significant safety issue that's directly relevant to
                what happened over Batam Island. Our
                investigation will still have some way to go before
                we can say that that is the cause. We will continue
                to look just to make sure we haven't missed
                                                             Page: 11

                something else. So at this stage we're saying we've
                identified a significant safety issue and have not
                identified any others. But our investigation

QUESTION:       [Indistinct]…that could be a sole cause? That could
                be the sole cause?

MARTIN DOLAN:   It could be but that's - I'm not going any further than
                saying it's a possibility at this stage. Our
                investigation continues.

QUESTION:       How much has this investigation cost so far?

MARTIN DOLAN:   That's not actually something that I have available
                but a significant amount of money. We can get
                some information to you on that if you want to give
                me your details later.

QUESTION:       Are there any A380s flying into Australia at the

MARTIN DOLAN:   That's not - not something that I actually have
                current information on and it's probably more a
                matter you should raise with the civil aviation
                safety authorities, the regulator of aviation safety in

QUESTION:       You've obviously had discussion with Qantas, have
                you spoken to Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa,
                who also use the Trent 900 and are they
                                                              Page: 12

                implementing the same measures as far as you

MARTIN DOLAN:   We have spoken to our counterparts in Singapore
                and to the Singapore regulator and put it in their
                hands to talk to Singapore Airlines and similarly
                we've been dealing with the European Aviation
                Safety Agency in relation to their safety regulatory
                responsibilities for Lufthansa. So we see this, we've
                identified the problem, made it know to the
                operators and to the safety regulators and we are
                seeing the safety action being taken by the
                regulators and the operators in response.

QUESTION:       We recently had the oxygen bottle, that freaky
                oxygen bottle that blew up and it's unlikely to be
                any other problem like it. Could this oil - leaky oil
                be a similar situation?

MARTIN DOLAN:   It's possible that this is a one off, but the results of
                inspection will tell us whether or not that's the case.

QUESTION:       Was there - do you have any information about how
                was it manufactured that would suggest that may be
                wider spread?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We don't at this stage have the detailed information
                that would enable us to make a call one way or
                another. What we know is it's a possibility which is
                why the inspection regime is in place.
                                                             Page: 13

QUESTION:       [Indistinct] shut down number one engine. What
                have you found about the circumstances about that?

MARTIN DOLAN:   We're still looking at the details of that but our best
                assessment at this point is that it was a direct
                consequence of some of the damage to the wing of
                the aircraft which as you'll see in our report severed
                some wiring, and that had some consequences in
                relation to the number one engine which led to that
                problem with shut down.

QUESTION:       How close did this come to being a disaster given
                the extent of the damage?

MARTIN DOLAN:   I - that's, I think, with respect, an impossible
                question to answer, and the only thing we can say is
                that in a situation like this where you have
                considerable pieces of engine turbine disk released
                from an engine then the consequences are very

QUESTION:       Do you know what the most serious damage was
                done, the…

MARTIN DOLAN:   The most serious damage in terms of scale was the
                result of one significant part of the turbine disk
                going directly through the wing of the aircraft.
                Another piece came to the fairing that is in front of
                the joining of the wing and the fuselage and that's
                where the damage to the wiring principally
                                                            Page: 14

                So they're the two things that probably in our view
                at this stage most significant. We'll continue to look
                at all the details of the damage that occurred and the

QUESTION:       That's [indistinct] talk about the significant in -
                detrimental to the plane's ability to fly.

MARTIN DOLAN:   Well we list in the report a range of systems and
                capabilities of the aircraft that were affected by the
                damage. These include such things as the slats of
                the aircraft were unable to be deployed for landing.
                There were some limitations at least, it would
                appear, from the signals the crews were getting with
                [indistinct] steering, there's a whole range that
                we've listed in the report. And rather than go
                through them I just say so there was a whole
                sequence of consequences about the operation of
                the aircraft that we list in our report.

QUESTION:       And has Rolls Royce agreed with your findings, are
                they accepting them or [indistinct] question?

MARTIN DOLAN:   Well probably the best way of answering that is to
                say we made a safety recommendation, and in
                response Rolls Royce has issued a procedure for
                detecting the problem and said that it needs to be
                done very urgently, as in with two cycles of
                operation with the engine.

QUESTION:       Sorry, [indistinct], just before that, you - was it -
                that you said you didn't have any data on how many
                                                           Page: 15

                potential engines currently in operation around the
                world would be [indistinct].

MARTIN DOLAN:   That's - we don't have an answer to the number at
                this stage, so what we're saying is - what we do
                know is that there are three operators who have
                Airbus 380 aircraft with the Trent 900 series
                engines, but at the moment I don't have the numbers
                that go to the number of engines that are affected.

QUESTION:       And, sorry, those operators are Qantas, Singapore,

MARTIN DOLAN:   Lufthansa.

QUESTION:       Is the manufacturer of this plane also involved in
                making any other pieces of the aircraft?

MARTIN DOLAN:   My understanding is that Rolls Royce has
                essentially focused on the engines of the aircraft,
                but I'm - I suppose I would have to admit that my
                understanding is a little limited there, so our focus
                has been on the engines, and on the manufacture of
                the engines.

QUESTION:       Just again on Rolls Royce…


QUESTION:       You talk about the cooperative working relationship
                you have with them. Is there any disagreement
                                                              Page: 16

                about what the conclusions you're drawing as you
                go through the investigation.

MARTIN DOLAN:   No, this has been a very cooperative process.
                Obviously the sorts of discoveries that are being
                made in the course of the investigation need to be
                worked out very hard to determine what's the best
                safety action to be taken in response.

                And so this is a very high-pressure arrangement, but
                the relationship has been very effective, and as you
                can see from the speed with which there was a
                safety response once the problem had been
                identified, we think it's working very well.

QUESTION:       How many Australians were involved in the

MARTIN DOLAN:   Has anyone got the numbers at the moment on how
                many people were deployed? I would say we've had
                at least 25 of our staff involved one way or another
                in this investigation so far. Just as a ballpark figure,
                guys, is that about the territory? Ian?

MALE SPEAKER:   Yeah, it's been variable,         but   at   least 12

MARTIN DOLAN:   Directly involved - plus a range of others providing
                support of various sorts.
                                                                                                               Page: 17

                                         If there are no further questions, thank you very
                                         much for your attendance and look forward to
                                         talking to you at some other time. Thank you.

                                          *        *       END          *        *

                             TRANSCRIPT PRODUCED BY M EDIA M ONITORS

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