An important part of the Airbus A380 Air France engine was found involved in the 2018 fall incident

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A less common aviation incident took place on 30 September 2018. The 4 engine of the Airbus A380 Air France aircraft (F-HPJE) lost the intake cap, which led to an unplanned landing in Canada.

A large chunk of the engine broke off and fell somewhere in Greenland. At that time, the aircraft successfully landed in Goose Bay, Canada. All passengers and crew were fine. Airbus A380 Air France operates the AF66 flight on the route Paris - Los Angeles.

Immediately after the incident, campaigns for the recovery of parts from the engine were organized. After the 3 campaigns, various engine parts were recovered. But that wasn't enough.

The 4 engine of the Airbus A380 Air France aircraft

4-track motor-a380-air Airbus France

Investigators from the BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile) said it was not enough to determine the exact causes that led to the incident.

Thus, the 4 search stage was started somewhere in the south of Greenland. The campaign was launched by BEA and its Dutch counterparts, but conducted by GEUS (Geological Service of Denmark and Greenland).


With the help of the technology offered by ONERA, the search space was delimited. The area was dangerous due to the numerous crevices. To avoid the crevices, the Frosty Boy robot was used, which was equipped with a special soil research radar.

After 13 weeks of search and research, the results appeared. A titanium piece was found, which weighs 150 kilograms and has 1m3. It was discovered at 4 meters under ice and snow. The piece was brought to the surface after 2 days of intense work. Chain saws, shovels and a heater were used to remove the ice.

This piece from the 4 engine of the Airbus A380 Air France aircraft (F-HPJE) will arrive in the United States for research by the Engine Alliance, under the close supervision of BEA.

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