Monday, May 2, 2011

Qantas AGAIN!

Loud bang shakes mine workers' Qantas FIFO flight

A QANTAS flight carrying about 100 mining workers from Perth has been turned back after a loud bang shook the plane. Flight QF1820 took off from Perth Domestic Airport at about 5.40am (WST) today carrying fly in-fly out mine workers to Newman in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

A mining worker on board said the plane had just begun to level out after take-off when the captain told passengers they had experienced a problem with the left engine and would be returning to Perth.

"Shortly after take-off we did experience a bit of a bang. We heard it and felt it as well, and not long after that we dropped a little bit in altitude," Tim Williams told ABC Radio. "We did notice a little bit of instability in the plane in the flight."

Mr Williams said the Boeing 717's take-off seemed normal. But, he said the subsequent drop in altitude caused concern among passengers and cabin crew. "There was quite an uneasy reaction. Everyone sort of stopped what they were doing, had a look around, thought about it for a second and tried to be calm," Mr Williams said. "Just to watch (the crew) was a bit worrying, to see them fumbling themselves, not knowing what to do, but they were quite calm and handled it well."

He said a member of the cabin crew let passengers know what had happened, but "you could hear she was a bit shaky".

"At first, I didn't realise what had happened, but as we dropped in altitude I knew what was going on," the mining worker said. "I was a bit worried, a bit scared, had a little prayer in my head and that was it. It was out of my hands, there was nothing I could do."

The flight landed safely at Perth Domestic Airport.

Many of the mine workers on board were headed to BHP Billiton's Mt Whaleback mine, the biggest single open-cut iron ore mine in the world.


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