Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Qantas jet forced to make emergency landing

This would seem to be too much of a coincidence. Sabotage?

Another Qantas plane has been forced to make made an emergency landing after experiencing engine problems. Passengers on board the Qantas Boeing 747-400 jumbo said they heard a bang and saw flames "coming out" of the aircraft's engine minutes after takeoff. "We could see some flames coming out from the engine," Singaporean passenger Terence Sim told reporters after disembarking at the airport.

It is the second Qantas jet in two days to be forced to return to the airport after take-off with engine trouble.

A Qantas spokesman said: "Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft (QF6) from Singapore to Sydney experienced an issue with one of its engines. As a precautionary measure, the captain got priority clearance to return to Singapore. The aircraft landed safely a short time later without incident." There were 412 passengers on board, along with three flight crew and 16 cabin crew. No one was injured.

"We could see quite an impressive plume of flame from the engine," said Australian passenger Andrew Jenkins, 43. "There was a bang, not particularly loud, just loud enough to draw your attention."

Alan Rumsey, a 60-year-old Australian, criticised Qantas for the second incident in as many days. On Thursday, an Airbus A380 also belonging to Qantas was forced to turn back to Singapore after one of its engines exploded minutes into the flight to Sydney, showering debris on a nearby Indonesian town. "It makes me wonder how reliable Qantas is since this is the second incident in two days," said Mr Rumsey, adding that the airline needed to improve its maintenance.

He said the people seated on the left side of the plane who saw the fire "got scared and started shouting".

The Boeing 747-400 passengers' accounts were similar to the experience of those aboard the A380, who also recounted hearing a loud explosion and seeing fire on the Rolls-Royce engine.

According to the Qantas website, flight QF6 is a Boeing 747-400, fitted with four Rolls-Royce RB211-524G-T engines. The daily flight operates between Frankfurt and Sydney, with a stopover in Singapore. The aircraft was expected to take off again several hours later.


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