Saturday 29 May 2021

Qantas 737 significantly damaged

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VXQ (MSN 33723)

An iconic Qantas aircraft was seriously damaged in a collision at Perth Airport on Thursday. A baggage vehicle (belt loader) crashed into the Retro jet while it was parked at the airport, reportedly due to the brakes on the vehicle failing. The vehicle impacted the starboard side of the 737, tearing a significant hole in the belly of the plane. Reports suggest that the driver of the baggage vehicle was not injured, but that he was trapped underneath the plane until the vehicle could be recovered. The incident left the 737 with a sizeable rip in the fuselage. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) notes that several other ground workers narrowly escaped injury during the incident. 

Qantas has come under fire for outsourcing its ground handling to third parties, after the pandemic-induced shutdown slashed the airline’s finances. The TWU claims that this is the latest in a string of incidents that have jeopardized the safety of aviation workers, telling the News publication,

“The other incidents include pilots being given dangerous and incorrect baggage weight information, understaffing of ground operations with teams halved, the use of old equipment around aircraft and problems including excessive delays with baggage at airports.”

The damaged aircraft was known as Retro II, its the airline’s second retro jet. This one has been painted with the original scheme featured on Qantas’s first jet aircraft, the Boeing 707, when it entered service in 1959. As you can see from the images below the livery features the the words “Australia’s Overseas Airline" on the fuselage, a red cheatline along the passenger windows and a Flying Kangaroo and the word Qantas on a white tail with two red stripes.

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