by B. N. Sullivan
A Qantas Boeing 747-400 (registration VH-OJP) experienced an uncontained engine failure last night during climbout from San Francisco. The aircraft's No. 4 engine, a Rolls-Royce RB-211, was badly damaged and was shut down in flight. After jettisoning fuel, the aircraft returned to San Francisco International Airport, where the crew made a safe emergency landing. The aircraft was carrying 212 passengers and a crew of 19; no one was injured.
According to news reports, the accident occurred shortly after midnight on August 31, 2010 as Qantas Flight QF 74 was still climbing after departure from San Francisco, en route to Sydney. (The aircraft had departed San Francisco at about 23:30L on August 30, 2010.) The track log on FlightAware.com suggests that the aircraft was climbing through FL250 at the time of the accident.
Here is the link to the flight track for Qantas Flt QF 74 on FlightAware.com.
I will post updates here on Aircrew Buzz should more information about this event become available.
UPDATE: Australia's ABC News posted this video clip of their news report about the accident on YouTube. The clip shows some mobile phone video of sparks coming from the engine, and still photos of the damaged engine cowling.
If the video does not play or display properly above, click here to view it on YouTube.