Qantas flight to Sydney forced to turn back and land in Fiji after crew notice ‘fumes’ emanating from plane – as major concerns have been raised over the airline’s fifth turnaround this week
- Qantas flight QF102 from Fiji turned back after smoke in the cabin
- Pilots requested priority for landing on Sunday as a precaution
- This is the Australian airline’s fifth turnaround in the past week
A Qantas flight to Sydney has returned to Fiji as a precaution after pilots received a report of fumes in the cabin – days after a service from Auckland declared a state of emergency following an engine failure.
The incident, on Sunday night, is the airline’s fifth turnaround in the past week.
Pilots on the Boeing 737 aircraft flight QF102 from Nadi, in Fiji, to Sydney on Sunday requested a priority landing – not an emergency landing – and the plane landed normally.
Early indications were the fumes associated with the oven in the aircraft galley.
Qantas flight QF102 (pictured) from Nadi, Fiji to Sydney turned over after report of fumes in cabin
They quickly disappeared and no one was hit.
Engineers will assess the aircraft.
Qantas worked to serve customers as quickly as possible and thanked them for their patience.
The incident follows a similar incident last week.
On Thursday, Qantas said the QF101, a Boeing 737 bound for Nadi, has returned to Sydney following an onboard malfunction indicator about a possible mechanical issue.
A Qantas representative told AAP that the pilots followed standard operating procedures and the plane landed normally in Sydney.
The plane returned without an emergency or priority landing and the malfunction indicator did not relate to an engine problem, Qantas said.
Three Qantas flights were also diverted on Friday – a QantasLink service from Melbourne to Canberra; a Boeing 737-800 from Melbourne to Sydney; and a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne.
On Wednesday, the pilot of QF144 – a Boeing 737 – from Auckland to Sydney turned off an engine and made a distress call over the Pacific before landing safely at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport at around 3.30pm.
The turnaround (pictured) was triggered after an onboard ‘error indicator’ about a possible mechanical problem, and is the airline’s fifth turnaround this week
Transport safety investigators confirmed that they would analyze the QF144’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data following the engine failure.
Qantas said all 145 passengers disembarked normally and closures were rare, with pilots trained to manage them safely.
The Qantas Group averages around 60 return flights per year out of more than 10,000 across the industry.
Qantas managing director Andrew David has emphasized that mechanical problems are common in the complicated industry and that individual faults need to be viewed in context.
“Airplanes are complex machines with millions of moving parts, and it’s not uncommon to have a problem with one of them,” he said.
“What’s important to know is that aircraft are designed with that in mind and have a lot of built-in redundancy, and our crews are trained to deal with those situations so they can land safely.”
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said on Friday it was confident Qantas was operating safely and has confidence in its safety management systems.