Interestingly, Qantas just had an engine explosion on a 747 crossing the Pacific back in September:
Some of the 212 passengers, relieved to be safe after the mid-air emergency, have spoken of their shock immediately after the 747-400’s engine exploded above the Pacific Ocean late on Monday. Some panicked and cried, ”We’re going to go down, we’re going to go down”, but most handled the emergency calmly.Here's the picture:
Was it a compressor stall? Here's one for comparison..
Such events are different from 'uncontained engine failures' as this picture indicates:
Finally, here's what an engine/wing hit by a missile looks like..
So from just a lay standpoint it would appear the Qantas event looks more like an uncontained engine failure. Of course to make things even more interesting today another Qantas flight leaving Singapore had to return due to an engine problem--this time a Boeing 747. Notice in all of the above examples the aircraft returned safely to the airport but with paranoia running rampant over the parcel bombs everything is being reported right now.
Everyone should be just as concerned about this.
AQAP is now tooting about how they were responsible for the package bombs and, oh by the way, the UPS 747 in Dubai. A couple of observations..
One, terrorist groups are long known for taking credit for all kinds of things after the fact. Only the evidence can be trusted, and if the authorities say there was no 'pressure wave' detectable on the black boxes then that seems to rule out a package bomb. Of course that doesn't rule out a dud bomb that simply lit the fire or some kind of incendiary device but my jury is definitely still out on this one. It would help if the UAE investigators would release the CVR/FDR tapes publicly as the NTSB is wont to do. This withholding of data has been common with several overseas crashes though, so no hopes there.
Two, the Saudis are saying the defector came to them in early October. The Dubai crash was early September. He would have known whether AQAP pulled it off and likely have told them. So if this guy is the real deal then someone already knows. Of course the Saudis were also told by an AQAP defector that Ethiopian 409 was taken down with an underwear bomb.