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French Probe Into A380 Engine Blowout Reveals Metal Safety Risks

  • Investigators blame cracks in widely used titanium alloy
  • France’s BEA hunted for missing engine part in Greenland ice
The Airbus A380 engine
The Airbus A380 engineSource: Havarikommissionen

A three-year French investigation into a near-catastrophic Airbus SE A380 engine blowout over Greenland found hidden weaknesses in the structure of a widely used metal alloy, with safety implications for plane equipment worldwide.

Microscopic cracks beneath the surface of a titanium alloy caused one engine on an Air France superjumbo to break apart during a flight between Paris and Los Angeles on Sept. 30, 2017, France’s air-crash authority, Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses, said in a presentation of the accident report on Tuesday.