Airbus A380, the largest civilian airliner operated by Air France, just made an emergency landing in Canada on Saturday after one of its four engines incurred serious damage. The superjumbo jetliner was carrying more than 500 passengers from Paris to Los Angeles when the incident occurred. The plane was diverted to Goose Bay military airport, Newfoundland.
An Air France spokesperson in Paris said that the craft was rerouted to GooseBay in eastern Canada as it passed over Greenland.
“Flight 066 landed without further damage at the Goose Bay military airport in Canada, and all of the 520 people on board were evacuated with no injuries,” he added.
The double-decker jetliner carried 496 passengers and 24 crew members to the US. Images and videos of the incident were posted to social media showing a lot of damage to the front of the engine with parts of the external cowling removed.
Just got this pic from friend aboard the Air France CDG to LAX flight that suffered engine failure & landed safely in Canada. Terrifying. pic.twitter.com/nXk23Cengc
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) September 30, 2017
A passenger named Miguel Amador filmed a video from the window of a plane and showed the damaged engine. He proposed a birdstrike to be the possible cause of damage. Other passengers call it an event to be a memory of a lifetime. An aviation analyst said on Twitter that a bird could not have been the cause as the accident occurred at a very high altitude.
It occurred during cruise, therefore too high for bird strike. Investigation started & latest from Air France here: https://t.co/skfddLHKnT https://t.co/jr5o3yD1Nz
— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) September 30, 2017
The airline later issued a statement that read.
“The regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly. An investigation is currently underway to shed light on this serious incident with representatives from the BEA (French Aviation Accident Investigation Bureau), the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Air France.”
The Goose Bay base is operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force and serves as standby airport for diverted transatlantic flights. The small airport is not equipped to deal with large airplanes like the A380. Hence, the passengers were stranded there for 12 hours until re-routed on a plane to Los Angeles via Atlanta.