Another Airbus Incident
Qantas defends its Airbus fleet after 13 passengers injured
At least thirteen people were injured when a Qantas A330-300 carrying 206 passengers struck severe turbulence over Borneo on a flight from Hong Kong to Perth, AFP reported.
Qantas, the Australian flag-carrier, dismissed any link to other A330 accidents, especially to the Air France disaster on June 1, saying that the latest incident was caused by freak weather conditions.
Qantas Airbus A330-300. (photo: GFDL)
“There is nothing to link the aircraft to anything untoward,” said company spokesman.
[Imagine Qantas deciding on the correct course of action. How much would they get for their second hand fleet of Airbus A330s? ]
As Flight QF68 dropped about 35 meters, sending passengers flying, when hit by turbulence as it flew over Malaysia some 4 hours into its flight.
“It appeared like we’d just dropped out of a 30-storey building,” said one passenger, as another described how a woman was flung into the plane’s ceiling.
“I was sitting at the exit door and I had this lady, (who) was waiting at the restroom and she flew up and hit the ceiling and came crashing down to the floor,” the passenger, reportedly told Fairfax radio.
“It was just a matter of a few seconds but it was really sudden and things went flying.”
At least thirteen people were treated neck and back injuries and bruises after the plane landed in Perth, AAP news agency said.
“The incident comes just 11 days after a cockpit blaze forced a Jetstar A330 to make an emergency landing, and also follows the Air France tragedy when 228 died in a mysterious accident involving the same model of plane.”
“Last October, a Qantas A330 went into two steep dives over Western Australia, causing several serious injuries and prompting an emergency landing, ” Asia One Travel said.
Qantas reportedly operates a fleet of ten A330-300s and six Airbus A330-200s and is also the major shareholder and operator of the budget airline Jetstar. While it is easy to understand why they would dismiss any links between Monday’s incident and all the previous ones, it’s rather difficult to see what they might do after the next Airbus crash.
“There is no reason to link the incident to other recent in-flight incidents involving A330 aircraft,” Qantas said in a statement, adding an investigation was under way.
It is NOT known how they could have ruled out any link to recent Airbus incidents so quickly and prior to an investigation. On the other hand, if they are so confident of the Airbus A330 performance, why have they started a investigation?
Could it be that Qantas or the aviation authorities in Australia are conducting a kangaroo investigation?
The following is a list of Australia’s Airbus A330 [reported] incidents published by AAP. In view of public interest the list is mirrored below.
Incidents involving Australia’s fleet of A330 Airbus aircraft:
Jan 19, 2004 – A newly acquired Qantas A330-300 flying from Melbourne to Perth is forced to make an emergency landing in Adelaide after fumes leak into cabin, with seven crew members and two of the 274 passengers taken to hospital with nausea-like symptoms.
Aug 21, 2005 – Nine people, including two Australians, are injured during the evacuation of 178 passengers from a Perth-bound Qantas jet in Osaka, Japan, after a smoke sensor was activated in the aircraft’s hold.
Jan-June 2006 – A wasp infestation among Qantas aircraft, particularly A330s, at Brisbane Airport, causes three flights to be aborted during takeoff as well as a number of flight cancellations.
July 24, 2007 – More than 300 passengers are left stranded in Bali when a Bangkok to Melbourne Jetstar flight is forced to divert to Denpasar Airport after an engine failure.
Oct 8, 2008 – Almost 50 people are injured, some seriously, when a Qantas jet, with 303 passengers and a crew of 10 bound from Singapore to Perth, plunges up to 2,000 metres over Western Australia.
Nov 14, 2008 – A Qantas jet carrying 278 passengers from Sydney to Shanghai turns back after a weather radar malfunction on board.
Nov 29, 2008 – A Qantas jet serviced just days earlier and flying from Perth to Singapore has to turn back after the crew is forced to turn off one of its two engines when an engine oil warning light flashes. Qantas says inspections indicated a fault with the engine starter motor.
Dec 5, 2008 – A Qantas jet becomes bogged at Sydney airport as a towbar holding the aircraft fails and two of the jet’s wheels become stuck in the grass beside the taxiway.
Dec 29, 2008 – A Qantas jet flying from Perth to Singapore is forced to return to Perth after the autopilot disconnects at 36,000 feet about 500km northwest of Perth. Air safety authorities say the circumstances were similar to the October incident over WA.
Jan 28, 2009 – An A330 defence aircraft carrying about 80 Australian personnel and supplies to the Middle East is forced to make an emergency landing in Darwin after fumes filled the cabin. Three people were hospitalised and later recovered.
June 9, 2009 – Qantas announces it has received no safety directives for its A330 fleet following the May 31 crash of an Air France A330-200 that killed all 228 people aboard in the Atlantic Ocean.
June 10, 2009 – A fire in the cockpit of a Jetstar A330-300 carrying 186 passengers from Japan to Australia forces the pilot to make an emergency safe landing in Guam.
June 22, 2009 – Thirteen people are injured when a Qantas A330-300 carrying 206 passengers strikes severe turbulence over Borneo on a flight from Hong Kong to Perth. —AAP
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