Four Corners - QF32
What caused the dramatic mid air explosion on board the Qantas super jumbo? Sarah Ferguson's gripping account of how a single engine part almost brought down the pride of the Qantas fleet.
When 440 passengers boarded Qantas Flight 32 bound for Sydney last November, they had every reason to feel confident. They were flying an airline boasting a unique safety record, on the world's newest, most sophisticated civilian aircraft, powered by prestigious Rolls Royce engines, famous for their reliability. But six minutes into the flight all that would change, when an explosion sent pieces of searing hot metal shooting out of the engine faster than the speed of sound. The landing itself was nerve-wracking and fraught with difficulty. But the nightmare wasn't over. With fuel gushing from the aircraft the risk of fire was extreme and one engine refused to shut down. It was another very long hour before the passengers and crew were finally allowed off the plane.
As the passengers disembarked, the search for the cause of the explosion was already underway. Qantas went into damage control and immediately pointed the finger at the august British engine maker Rolls Royce. What everyone wanted to know was, what caused the explosion and was it safe to fly on the A380?
Reporter Sarah Ferguson takes us through the hunt for clues as the investigators cordoned off the plane as if it were a crime scene. They describe the 'golden bullet' moment when the source of the fire was discovered. The program also reveals the problems Rolls Royce experienced with the engine prior to the Qantas incident.
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