Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Auckland-bound Qantas Boeing 747 returns to LAX

On the evening of May 1, a Qantas Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft en route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland, New Zealand returned to LAX about an hour after departure due to what news reports are describing as "an engine problem." Qantas Flight QF26 reportedly had 288 passengers on board. No one was injured.

TV stations in the Los Angeles area are calling the incident an emergency landing, while the media down under are saying otherwise.

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Executive General Manager of Qantas Engineering, David Cox, who said it was not an emergency landing.
"After take-off, the aircraft conducted what we call an 'air return' following indications of a vibration issue with one of the aircraft's four engines," Mr Cox said.

"The pilot shut down the engine as a precaution and the aircraft landed without incident. No emergency was declared and there was no safety issue at any time," he said.
That's what 'the pilot' did, eh? Why do these spokesmen always say "the pilot" did this or that, making it sound as though the flight had only one pilot? Not only would a B747 never fly with one pilot, on that route it probably had an augmented crew.

Well, never mind. I don't mean to nit-pick. Let's just say that something happened to an engine and that the crew decided not to continue on across the Pacific. The passengers were accommodated overnight in hotels and continued on their journey the next day.

(Don't you just hate it when the only sources of information about an incident are news reports in the non-aviation press?)