SE, is that Rolls Royce personnel in the UK or in Australia? If in Australia are they union or are the seconded from the UK? Just curious because the problem seems localized to a single country. Makes me wonder if it's a design fault, maintenance fault, or an operational fault (pilots operating SOP for Qantas). Like everybody, I'm just speculating out loud.
I reckon time will tell.......
It would appear that a potential reason for the QA failures has been unearthed.
While Lufthansa, Singapore Air, and Qantas all use the RR Trent 900 engines, Lufthansa and Singapore engines have a max thrust rating of 70,000 pounds.
The Quantas engines have been rechipped to produce a maximum thrust of 72,000 pounds. This has been done because the Los Angeles to Sydney flight is over 15 hours, and at max take off weight, the runway at LAX is barely long enough for the fully loaded A380. The extra thrust reduces runway requirements.
However, it is believed that at the max thrust setting (which happens during take off), previously unknown harmonic vibrations are introduced into the engine, causing cracking of the oil lines, subsequent oil leaks, and in this case perhaps, bearing and shaft failure which caused the engine to come apart.
It should be noted that the maximum certified thrust for these engines is 75,000 pounds, and that the engines are mechanically identical. The only difference is the electronics.