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Qantas pilots forced to declare mid-air emergency after almost running out of fuel near Perth


‘Mayday mayday’: Qantas pilots are forced to declare a mid-air emergency after almost running out of fuel

  • Qantas Flight 933 suffered a mid-air emergency in Perth airspace on Monday
  • Pilots were forced to declare ‘mayday’ after the plane almost ran out of fuel 
  • Boeing 737 arrived with fuel spare but was put in a holding pattern due to delays
  • Air safety authorities have now launched an investigation into the incident  

Authorities have launched an investigation after Qantas pilots were forced to declare a mid-air emergency after almost running out of fuel due to runway delays at a Western Australian airport. 

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Qantas Flight 933 from Brisbane to Perth was several hundred kilometres away from its destination on Monday when pilots declared a ‘mayday’ call to air traffic control while in queue to land. 

The Boeing 737 entered Perth’s airspace with an additional 20 minutes’ worth of fuel, but was instructed to maintain a holding pattern due to an influx of inbound planes, The Age reports. 

With the wait time standing at 16 minutes, air traffic controllers told the pilots they would need to declare a mayday to be given priority to touch down. 

A Qantas flight was forced to declare a mid-air emergency as it descended into Perth airport on Monday

The plane was several hundred kilometres east of Perth when it encountered trouble. Pictured: Qantas flight 933's flightpath

The plane was several hundred kilometres east of Perth when it encountered trouble. Pictured: Qantas flight 933’s flightpath

The aircraft eventually landed safety under a ‘fuel mayday on descent’ – an emergency situation rarely encountered by pilots. 

Under legal requirements, planes must land with certain fuel reserves intact, which may have been breached if the pilots had not issued the mayday. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau are now investigating the ‘low fuel event’, which took place 335km east of the city, above Wave Rock. 

‘During descent, the crew declared an emergency due to the amount of fuel on board and proceeded to land at Perth. The aircraft landed with reserves intact,’ it said. 

‘A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. 

With the wait time standing at 16 minutes, air traffic controllers told the pilots they would need to declare a mayday to be given priority to touch down. Pictured: A Qantas Boeing 737

With the wait time standing at 16 minutes, air traffic controllers told the pilots they would need to declare a mayday to be given priority to touch down. Pictured: A Qantas Boeing 737

‘However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.’  

Qantas chief pilot Dick Tobiano said the pilots loaded the aircraft in accordance with the airline and Australia air-safety requirements. 

‘The aircraft landed with 40 minutes of fuel in the tank, which is well above the minimum requirements,’ he said in a statement.

‘Our pilots followed the correct procedures and there was no safety issue with the flight.’

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Qantas for further comment. 

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