An Airbus A380-800 of the airline Air France fulfilling flight AF-703, between the international airports of Abidjan and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, had to return due to a failure registered in the number 1 engine when it was reaching its level of flight at about 35,000 feet of altitude.

AF703 Flight Route
AF703 Flight Route

Air France A380’s engine failure

According to statements of the airline GP7270 engine, suffered a collapse of the compressor, forcing the crew to cut it and fly with an inoperative engine, descending flight level. Subsequently, about 280 nautical miles from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the crew decided to return to the airport.

The aircraft registration F-HPJC, landed without complications at the Abidjan-Felix Houphouet Boigny Airport, almost two hours after having taken off with 501 passengers on board.

Air France A380 Ground Inspection
Air France A380 AF-703 Ground Inspection

Once on the ground, a visual inspection showed that the engine had suffered from an intake, probably a bird, which caused the breakage of some blades and blows inside the engine cover.

Experiencing an engine failure

According to some statements of the passengers, during the failure of the engine, strong vibrations were felt, noise accompanied by some explosions with fire, which could confirm inadequate combustion after the ingestion. The Airbus A380 was taken out of service and Air France made a Boeing 777-200ER available to passengers to take them to their destination on March 10.

AF703 Engine failure
AF-703 Engine failure

As is normal in these situations the pilots reported the malfunction and requested an emergency landing at the airport of origin, which happened one hour later, having the airplane landed safely and with the emergency means prepared for some eventuality. All passengers are expected to return to Paris on Monday with other regular flights from the company as well as via the B777 that Air France has sent to Abidjan. The plane is expected to be powered by the end of this week, according to available information, and then return to Paris.

“Engine explosion”, a well-known problem

Technically, it’s what’s called an engine explosion, it’s a well-known problem. It happens from time to time, it’s an eminent phenomenon, well understood and the crew is well trained in simulators throughout the year to deal with this failure.

In summary: The failure of an engine in mid-flight forced the Air France A380 aircraft with more than five-hundred passengers on board to return to the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, where it landed without further incident on Sunday.

Air France A380 taking off
Air France A380 taking off


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