Air France A380 flight AF66 CDG-LAX diverts to Goose Bay after serious engine problem

Air France flight AF 66 from Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) to Los Angeles (LAX), operated with an Airbus A380, has diverted to Goose Bay after a serious technical malfunction.

The flight, operated with Airbus A380 F-HPJE, took off from Paris Charles De Gaulle on Saturday morning, bound for Los Angeles and without any indication of a technical issue.

About four hours into the flight, while cruising over Greenland, a sudden technical malfunction occurred, causing significant damage to the leading edge of the wing above engine number 4 as well as disintegrating the engine cowling of engine number 4.

The crew decided to divert to Goose Bay Airport (YYR) in Labrador, Canada where it made a safe landing at 15:42 UTC. No passengers were injured.

Air France Airbus A380 F-HPJE on the ground at Goose Bay after flight AF66 CDG-LAX diverted. Photo copyright: Giulio Ho

Air France released this public statement on its website regarding the diversion of flight AF66 CDG-LAX:

A first small group of passengers are being carried to Winnipeg for a technical stop, and from there to their final destination, Los Angeles, with a Boeing 737-300QC aircraft of Nolinor Aviation registered C-GNLQ, dispatched from Montreal as flight NRL58.

After 23 hours on board (the airport is not able to handle A380 flights), the last 400 passengers were finally allowed to leave the aircraft. They will be taken to Atlanta on a relief Air France Boeing 777-300ER registered F-GZNO, also originating from Montreal as flight AFR380V/AF4080. This 777 was supposed to make a flight to Paris, which was cancelled. At Atlanta, the passengers will board flight Delta DL9860 to Los Angeles.

Air France released the following statement on the morning of 1 October:


Roissy, Sunday 1 October

Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF066 operated by A380 from Paris-CDG to Los Angeles decided to divert to Goose Bay airport (Canada) following serious damage to one of its four engines.
The aircraft landed safely at 15:42 (GMT), and the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly. The passengers are currently being assisted by teams dispatched to the location.

To ensure that all 497 passengers of flight AF066 reach their destination, Air France has immediately decided to make arrangements for two flights:

  • A first flight operated by Boeing 737, a specially leased aircraft by Air France, will arrive in Los Angeles at 6.00am local time following a technical stop-over in Winnipeg.
  • A second flight operated by an Air France Boeing 777-300 will join Atlanta where Delta will arrange for passengers to be flown to their final destination, notably Los Angeles by a specially leased flight.

Air France apologizes once again to all its customers affected by this incident for which specific commercial measures will be implemented.

An investigation is currently underway to shed light on this serious incident notably with representatives from the BEA (French Aviation Accident Investigation Bureau), the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Air France.

30 September 2017

Photos: © / Twitter / Giulio Ho / Air France

Ivan Coninx:
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