Passengers on board an Air France flight from Paris to Los Angeles yesterday were probably making their testaments on mobile phones or tablets after the plane engine started to crumble mid-flight and fell to pieces a bit later.
The Airbus A380 superjumbo was about halfway over the Atlantic Ocean when the engine failed. For about 1 minute the plane experienced very heavy turbulence after which a loud noise went on for about ten minutes and panicked passengers could see an engine on the right wing totally disintegrating and losing parts.
Nervousness was widespread for the remainder of the flight after the pilot had confirmed the engine failure and told passengers they would be making an emergency landing at the nearest airport able to land an airplane of that size, Goose Bay airport in Canada, which meant a very nervous wait of several hours for the passengers.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Air France Airbus A380, flight AF66 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, to Los Angeles diverted to Goose Bay, Canada and landed following one of its engines blew out over the Atlantic Ocean. <a href="https://t.co/6MmKuUYUGH">pic.twitter.com/6MmKuUYUGH</a></p>— AeroChapter (@AeroChapter) <a href="https://twitter.com/AeroChapter/status/914252910866788352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">30 September 2017</a></blockquote>
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Upon landing, many of the passengers took to social media to inform the world of their ordeal.
Passenger Pamela Adams said everyone on board first “heard this tremendous bang. It was like the plane hit a Jeep at 35,000 feet.”
At this point, the cause of the accident remains unknown, but one passenger, Miguel Amador gave a possible explanation: “Engine failure halfway over the Atlantic Ocean … bird strike possibility.”
The double-decked Airbus aircraft was 496 passengers and 24 crew members, the Air France spokesman said. The airline chartered two Boeing airplanes to get their passengers to Los Angeles today.
The official Air France statement explained that: "AF66 landed safely. Customers are taken care by Air France and rerouting solutions ongoing. Technical issue identified, AF66 diverting per precaution to Goose Bay YYR for technical checks."
The Airbus A380 has not been a success story so far. Sales have been sluggish and the company has it would reduce production in 2019 to just eight of the superjumbos.