The French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) will conduct the investigation following the incident on engine number four of the Air France Airbus A380 (F-HPJE), cruising over Greenland when the accident occurred.
The Danish civil aviation authorities delegated the investigation to the BEA, as “the French bureau represents France, the State of the operator, the registration and the design of the aircraft.”
Four BEA investigators visited Goose Bay on Sunday 1 October accompanied by Airbus and Air France advisers. NTSB investigators, accompanied by General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and TSB engineers, also visited the site.
A fifth BEA investigator traveled to Ottawa to attend the first reading of the data recorded in the Parameter Recorder (FDR). This reading made it possible to confirm the place where the damage occurred.
Damage to the aircraft appears to be limited to the No. 4 engine and its immediate environment. The observation of the reactor shows that the fan, the first rotating member in front of the engine, detached in flight, causing it to lose the air intake.
The BEA will now start a search to find a missing 3-metre-wide fan that ripped off the engine in midair.