Tue, Aug 05, 2008
Calls Move A Preventative Measure
Following a highly-visible incident onboard a Qantas Airways
Boeing 747 last month, and two less serious incidents over the past
10 days, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority says it will
investigate safety standards at the Australian flag carrier.
As ANN reported, a blast -- thought to have
come from the explosion of an onboard oxygen canister -- blew a
hole in the fuselage of a 747 flying from Hong Kong to Melbourne on
No one was injured in that incident, which forced an emergency
landing in Manila... but it did cast the media spotlight on the
airline, and brought immediate press attention as two other Qantas
flights suffered relatively benign mechanical failures that forced
diversions. A domestic flight from Melbourne to Adelaide was forced
to turn back July 28 after a mainwheel gear door would not retract;
five days later, a hydraulic leak forced a flight to Manila to
return to Sydney shortly after takeoff.
Public outcry over those incidents spurred CASA to announce the
investigation, which officials say is purely a preventative
"We have no evidence to suggest there are problems within
Qantas, but we think it’s prudent and wise to go in with a
new special team and take an additional look at a range of
operational issues within Qantas," CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told
The Australian Associated Press. The team will focus their efforts
on maintenance and safety practices at the airline, he added.
Qantas has an eviable safety record, with no passenger
fatalities since it began flying jet aircraft almost 50 years ago.
The airline said Sunday it doesn't expect its reputation to be
tarnished by the review.
"We have no issue with this latest review and CASA says it has
no evidence to suggest that safety standards at Qantas have
fallen," said Qantas engineering manager David Cox.
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