Qantas A330 forced to divert by cockpit fire

An Airbus A330-200 operated by Australia’s Qantas suffered a cockpit fire on 23 March, forcing the aircraft to divert to Cairns from its original destination, Sydney. According to the airline, the incident was caused by an electrical fault, which triggered a small fire and smoke near the left-hand windscreen in the cockpit. The pilots extinguished the fire and landed safely about 50 minutes later.

4th Apr 2011


Safety

Qantas A330 forced to divert by cockpit fire


An Airbus A330-200 operated by Australia’s Qantas suffered a cockpit fire on 23 March, forcing the aircraft to divert to Cairns from its original destination, Sydney.
According to the airline, the incident was caused by an electrical fault, which triggered a small fire and smoke near the left-hand windscreen in the cockpit. The pilots extinguished the fire and landed safely about 50 minutes later.
There were no injuries among the 147 passengers and 11 crew on board the flight from the Philippines’ capital Manila. The aircraft returned to Sydney the following day to undergo repairs.
Both the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) and Qantas itself are now investigating the incident.
The latest occurrence has once again thrown the spotlight on safety at the Oneworld carrier, following recent problems affecting its Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered Airbus A380 fleet. In two incidents on 15 and 24 February, Qantas A380s experienced problems with one of the aircraft’s four engines.
The first incident occurred near New Delhi on a flight from Singapore to London Heathrow, with the crew observing a gradual drop in oil quantity in the number four engine. The engine’s thrust was reduced to flight idle for the remainder of the flight.
The second occurred on the same route, this time near Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, affecting the aircraft’s number three engine. The crew again reduced power on the affected engine.
The ATSB said that in the first case, inspection had revealed that an oil-line fitting had “less than the required torque”.
Those incidents themselves followed the uncontained failure in November of an A380 engine, which the ATSB attributed to fatigue-cracking in a stub pipe feeding oil into the high-pressure/intermediate-pressure bearing structure, which caused an oil leak, then a fire.
 

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