Qantas’ woes continue as ’scary’ cockpit fire forces Sydney-bound jet to divert to CairnsMarch 24th, 2011 - 12:05 pm ICT by ANI
Cairns, Mar 24(ANI): A Sydney-based Qantas Airways’ flight from the Philippines has made a forced landing in Cairns after a fire broke out in the plane’s cockpit.
Qantas said that the Airbus A330 was forced to land in Cairns on Wednesday afternoon after an electrical fault caused smoke and small flames to appear near the left-hand windscreen of the cockpit, the Courier Mail reports.
“There were no ill effects or injuries experienced by any of the 147 passengers or 11 crew, and all passengers were accommodated on other domestic services to complete their journey to Sydney,” a Qantas spokesman said in a statement.
He said the pilots were being praised for “their calm response to the incident”.
However, a 56-year-old passenger on board the flight described it as a scary incident, which could have been catastrophic.
“There was a burning smell in the cabin that was very strong, and then the captain came over the loudspeaker and explained an electrical problem meant there was a serious risk of fire,” the passenger said.
“Later he explained flames had come back for a second time and they’d had to use a fire extinguisher in the cockpit. Whenever you hear a pilot talk about a fire on a plane it’s truly scary. Clearly the incident could have been catastrophic,” the passenger added.
Qantas said that the incident would be investigated, and that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) had been notified.
Earlier, Qantas had to ground its entire A380 fleet in November last year after one of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines exploded mid-air shortly after take-off from Singapore.
The total cost of grounding its entire fleet of A380s, and replacing 16 of the A380 engines, has been estimated at 80 million dollars. (ANI)
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