Saturday, February 19, 2011

Qantas 'case' studies

As a frequent flyer to Hong Kong, I have found the recent service on Qantas flights unacceptable.

Case 1: During the meal service I was asked if I would prefer chicken or fish. "Chicken please." "Sorry sir, we have run out of chicken." "Then I suppose I will have to have the fish." "Sorry sir, no fish!" I was then offered a cup of noodles.

Case 2: A passenger next to me mentioned to the cabin attendant that his TV monitor was not working properly. The attendant suggested he lean over and watch mine.

Case 3: My tray table would not sit open correctly. The cabin attendant suggested I place the meal on my lap. I spent the next hour removing Moroccan lamb from my attire.

- Chris Heenan


New problem hits Qantas A380 engine

A clear case of negligent maintenance

Air-safety inspectors are investigating oil problems with an engine on a Qantas A380 superjumbo after pilots decided to reduce its thrust to idle about two hours out of London.

The pilots of the A380 noticed a gradual decrease in the amount of oil the number-four engine was using while flying over India's capital, New Delhi, on Tuesday during a service from Singapore.

The crew decided as a precaution to reduce the engine's thrust to idle about two hours' flying time away from Heathrow airport.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said an engineering inspection later found that an external oil line on the engine had not been correctly refitted after it had been removed for testing.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine was one of many inspected in the weeks after a Qantas A380 suffered a midair engine explosion shortly after take-off from Singapore late last year.

Qantas said today that the latest problem "is not related in any way" to the QF32 incident on November 4, which forced the airline to ground its superjumbo fleet for weeks. It stressed that the engine was placed on idle thrust and was not shut down at any stage during the flight.

The A380 involved in the latest incident – the third that Qantas took delivery of – remains in service. The ATSB is continuing its investigation.


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