The No. 4 engine came apart over Greenland on a flight from Paris to Los Angeles tearing off the low-pressure turbine, which is three metres in diameter and the front cowling. Flying parts damaged the pylon and right wing outboard of the engine.
Following the emergency landing at Goose Bay, emergency personnel picked up more parts that fell off the aircraft on the runway.
Because the incident began in Danish airspace off Greenland, Denmark could have taken over the investigation but deferred to France. Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board will also be involved. The U.S. will also take part because the engine was made there by Engine Alliance, a collaboration between GE and Pratt & Whitney.
The aircraft had 497 passengers and 24 crew, who had to wait on the aircraft for more than 12 hours for two aircraft to pick them up and take them to Los Angeles. But they didn’t go direct. One stopped in Atlanta before the last leg to L.A. and another, a Canadian chartered Boeing 737, needed fuel in Winnipeg.
Click Here to listen to the ATC communications between the Air France Captain and the Nav Canada Controller who guided the aircraft to a safe landing at Goose Bay.