Boeing 747 Experienced Engine Problems, Shut One Down
The crew of a Qantas Boeing 747 on a flight from Bangkok to
London was forced to return to Thailand after experiencing "an
increase in vibration and high temperatures" in one of the
airplanes' four engines.
A spokesman for Qantas said "The pilots shut down this engine
and as a precaution returned to Bangkok. The aircraft can safely
fly on three engines, and it had a normal landing."
The spokesman said that other airlines are having similar issues
with Rolls Royce engines, which is reportedly stepping up
But the French news service AFP reports that Qantas is facing
more than just mechanical difficulties on some of its airplanes.
The airline, like all others, is facing rapidly-rising fuel costs,
and its international business is said to be struggling. Pilots are
threatening to strike against the airline, and through their union
are expressing concern about the amount of fuel they are carrying.
The pilots hold that there is pressure from the airlines to carry
only the minimum amount necessary to complete a flight with
reserves. They say the airline prints out reports showing the
amount of fuel loaded and how much is remaining at landing. Some in
the industry have said that fuel allocation ratios have become
outdated by better weather and traffic forecasts.
Qantas says it does not attempt to influence any pilot's
decision as to how much fuel to carry, and that captains are solely
responsible for their fuel orders. The spokesperson said that all
of the airlines flights carry "appropriate fuel based on extremely
detailed flight planning and forecast flying conditions."