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Tool Found At LAX In Qantas Airbus A380 Engine After 1 Month Missing

Australian investigators have disclosed that mechanics found a tool inside a Qantas Airbus A380 engine after it has been missing for a month at LAX. ( More...

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Colin Seftel 13
Agreed, this article is well below simpleflying's usual standards of reporting, but I couldn't find another source to post.
As I see it, there's two scenarios which could have led to this incident.
1. Whoever did the maintenance on the engine does not have an effective tool management system, so when they realized that they had lost a tool, they had no idea where it had been used.
2. The tool was reported missing on this aircraft but the aircraft was not grounded.
Both scenarios are very serious safety violations and demand investigation by the relevant authorities.
Colin Seftel 4
This is a better article:
Tim Dyck 2
Thanks for the link. It was a plastic barring tool so when they discovered it was missing they should have stopped everything and went back to the last place it was used. With apprentices I constantly stress the importance of keeping tools organized so you can see if something is missing befor moving on to the next job task. If this tool had been left in a worse place it could have done engine damage and put the aircraft in jeopardy. Imagine if it had moved and damaged a fuel line which could then lead to an engine fire?
Agreed - much better and coherent article.

Two months - that's a lot of frequent floater miles!

We are flying to NZ on Wednesday (06MAR) on an A380. Fortunately via Dubai.
Tim Dyck 1
Damn right it is. The technician probably had to replace that tool out of his own pocket. Poor sap is just trying to make a living in one of the most underpaid trades in society.
Tom Bruce 4
before flight walk around EC121R Korat Thailand 1968... flight engineer "Lt, see that black and yellow item in the engine, do you know what it is?" CoPilot 1st LT.."well sarge, looks to me like the fuel assembly attachment to the cylinder head"... Sgt "no Lt, it's the mechanics flashlite, get his ass over hear and have him remove it"
When I First went to work as an Airline Mechanic, I ask my fellow mechanics why they marked their tools with different colors of Paint instead of etching or engraving them with their name?
It was explained to me that any tool lost or left behind in a sensitive location would be better off not traced to it's owner.
Tim Dyck 2
Yes I saw the same when I worked in the industry. But I always stressed the importance of organizing tools and putting them away properly after a job task so the tech can see if something is missing. We once had a sensor fail and when we got the panels off found a flashlight had been left behind and rubbed through some wiring. As we went to fix the wiring the tech set his own light down where it could illuminate the aria and I saw exactly why if left behind it would eventually fall against the same wires. Flashlights and headlamps are some of the most often forgotten items.
arfadaily 0
That makes no sense to me at all. Are you saying that no one would know that a wrench with a yellow paint mark belonged to Fred Splinge, rather than if it was marked "FS" ?
Tim Dyck 1
Hey keep Fred’s name out of this. Let’s not slander people on this site.
Bill Overdue 3
Well this is always good news, to find a missing wrench in the engine of an airliner! Been missing for a month from LAX? Why does this not surprise me ....
dkenna 7
It reads to me they found it at LAX, not necessarily lost it there. Australian officials made the announcement, probably due to the error made over there. This is a poorly written piece of journalism for sure.
Bill Overdue 2
"mechanics found a tool inside a Qantas Airbus A380 engine"... I presume the "engine" flew from LAX to Australia with a missing wrench in it from LAX? Who knows it is a bit misleading? Not good in any event!
Graham Manley 3
The wrench was missing for a month so it has probably flown all over the world (Europe/ Asia/ USA) during that period.
lynx318 1
Article states it was found during a service at LAX and jet had arrived from Sydney. What the article doesn't state is where it came from, although it seems someone knew it was missing from ...somewhere, but where?
Tim Dyck 2
It wasn’t a wrench, it was a plastic barring tool that would not have been used in a place where it could go through the rotating group. But it could have done other damage. My guess is the tech set it down after use and then forgot about it.
I have always been a big fan (sorry!) of multi-engines. Always fly with a few spares!
Bandrunner 2
Ah, they found my 10mm spanner, great.
Tim Dyck 2
Sadly I have to admit I lost a screwdriver once and found it 6 years later working on the same engine but with a different company. I lost sleep over it when it went missing and the person I had been working with brushed it off and said that if it makes one trip it will make a thousand and screwdrivers are cheap. But after I lost that screwdriver I made it a habit than no matter how much pressure to get something out the door I would account for every tool befor signing off on a job.
carste10 2
That tool is only used in one of four places on the aircraft. Was it "missing" before or after it was found?
lynx318 1
Surgeon, "Oops, I've misplaced a scalpel in that heart surgery, oh well it'll turn up in his next operation...."

Does that give a perspective on the poor instrument/tool tracking?


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