While waiting for a recent flight, I observed this aircraft with what appear to be rather worn turbine blades. Is this close to being a safety issue or is it purely cosmetic?



closed as primarily opinion-based by Ryan Mortensen, Sean, AEhere supports Monica, CGCampbell, Gerry Jul 28 at 3:59

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    $\begingroup$ The pic isn't good enough to tell. Could just be paint erosion. $\endgroup$ – John K Jul 27 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnK I realized later how bad the lighting was but perhaps it would be possible to turn up the contrast and see something. It was very obvious when seen with the naked eye $\endgroup$ – dalearn Jul 27 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ @dalearn, the discolouration is very clear in the photo, but what is not clear is whether it is dirt, eroded paint, or there are actually dents in the leading edges of the blades—and I doubt it was discernible with naked eye from that distance either. Abraded paint or a little dirt are not a problem. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jul 27 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ That's one of four Hainan Airbus A350s. All four are brand new. If it's winter time (Southern Hemisphere) or cold, it could be frost build-up. With the unfortunate image quality, we don't have much to go on with, nor can we declare airworthiness from a photo. But like J.Hougaard said, fan blades are checked regularly. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Jul 27 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ If Hainan is flying into arid parts of China with a lot of dust etc, the paint will get eroded off fan blades pretty fast. The erosion can also be from ice collecting on the spinner and being shed, which gives you that random erosion pattern. $\endgroup$ – John K Jul 28 at 18:29

Yes, it is safe. Prior to every flight, ground technicians and one of the pilots will complete a pre-flight walk around of the aircraft, which includes checking the engines thoroughly. Any issues with the turbine blades would be noticed at this point and the flight would not depart.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you expand on why this particular plane is safe? Your answer is good but it doesn’t quite address why this plane is safe to fly given the “damage” observed $\endgroup$ – dalearn Jul 27 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ @dalearn Frankly, the quality of the image you posted is not nearly good enough to be able to see any damage, if it exists. $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Jul 27 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ I think the dalearn has noticed what looks like „white leading edges“ in the area between four and six o‘clock and the one near 9 o‘clock. Maybe the leading edges of all blades where initially white colored to make the fan better visible, when it was new or it‘s just reflected light. But the image quality is relatively bad. $\endgroup$ – Peter Jul 27 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter nope, it’s definitely where the dark paint is gone. It looked worn $\endgroup$ – dalearn Jul 27 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ Not all countries are created equal. What you say might be true if you were to fly with American or European airlines. I cannot give the same guarantee if you happen to fly with airlines that are banned from Europe due to safety issue. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Jul 27 at 19:41

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