Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of the late iconic punk-grunge musician Kurt Cobain, revealed Saturday that she had been one of the passengers on the Sept. 30 Air France Flight AF66 from Paris to Los Angeles, which lost part of one of its engines mid-flight.
She revealed to the Mirror that she, along with other passengers, feared for their lives as they could see the disintegration of the defective engine from the windows, along with passengers hearing a loud “boom” noise before they witnessed the engine’s breaking apart.
The realization of the loss of the engine’s integrity caused the plane’s pilot to radio a “super mayday” to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the plane made a safe emergency landing at Happy Valley/Goose Bay Airport in Canada. The plane carried 496 passengers and 24 during the flight with no injuries although photographs reveal the severe nature of the potential disaster.
On Sunday, Danish officials reported they had found fan and cowling engine parts from an Air France A380 aircraft on a Greenland ice-cap by helicopter searchers. The parts will be used in an extensive investigation by the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis. Danish and Canadian members will also be a part of the investigative process regarding the Air France flight.
Cobain mentioned that she had made the last minute booking on the flight because she had wanted to get home earlier than she had planned. The incident, she stated, has caused her to reevaluate priorities and the nature of the relationships in her life.
Although there was no panic on board the flight during the discovery, one passenger was extremely upset but was able to be calmed by other passengers and flight crew. One passenger on the flight, a retired air mechanic, speculated that the engine failure appeared by sight to possibly be due to the engine’s fan failure. The day after the emergency landing, passengers were flown on to Los Angeles in two separate planes without incident.
Experts from both the US and France, along with Airbus manufacturers and the engine maker Engine Alliance, were flown to the Happy Valley-Goose Bay airport where the stricken plane remains.
The A380 engine is manufactured by US companies General Electric and Pratt and Whitney. The A380 is available with two types of turbofan engines, the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or the Engine Alliance GP7000.