Friday, 15 June 2018

Qantas flight plunges due to turbulance

QANTAS A380 - 842 VH-OQF (CN 029)                        File Photo

A Qantas flight was forced to plunge for 10 seconds over the Pacific Ocean two hours into the flight on Sunday night after entering a wind vortex from "wake turbulence" caused by another Qantas plane. Qantas 94 (being operated by VH-OQK) travelling from Los Angeles to Melbourne was following Qantas 12 (being operated by VH-OQF) also from Los Angeles but going to Sydney. The aircraft were 20 nautical miles apart in distance and 1,000 feet in altitude.
Passengers said the moment the plane began to free fall felt like a roller coaster, but praised Qantas staff for the way they handled the situation.  "Somebody described it as the feeling of going over the top of a roller coaster, slightly, not the fall - just a little, 'what's going on there?' "It was one of those ones that got your attention... Then it levelled off. I thought the Qantas staff were fantastic another passenger said. The captain of the aircraft got on the intercom and told everyone immediately, 'this is what happened, relax. We're now talking to air traffic control and we're going to get a different flight path - we should be right from here,'." Qantas A380 flight QF12, which was flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, and Qantas 94, the Melbourne-bound jet, took off just minutes apart. "We just got served our dinner and then all of a sudden the plane just dropped, it nosedived, and then obviously everyone started screaming and freaking out and there was stuff flying everywhere. "It definitely wasn't regular turbulence. This was just a drop, like it was dropping out of the sky." The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was not investigating the turbulence event and Qantas had no obligation to report it immediately. "Only occurrences that affect the safety of an aircraft must be reported to the ATSB," the bureau said. "Based on the facts of this occurrence, there was no requirement for the operator to notify the ATSB immediately. "The operator submitted a notification this morning, which is within the required 72 hour time frame for routinely reportable matters. "The information contained in the notification has been reviewed and the ATSB has determined that it will not be investigating."
Qantas has since responded to the freefall, saying the event was handled appropriately.

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