Monday, May 16, 2011

Airline Safety: Qantas Safety Overview

The name "QANTAS" is the acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline was founded in 1920  and it is based in Sydney,Australia.It is Australia's largest airline, and the second oldest in the world.Qantas was voted the seventh best airline in the world by the research consultancy firm Skytrax. Throughout its history Qantas have had one of the best safety records rarely found in other airlines of the same or even younger age.After 1951 there has been no fatal airplane accident,just some serious but not life threatening incidents.Most of its fatal accidents have happened during the World War II Era were the company was operating on behalf of the allied military forces.

Accidents summary(1927-1951):
DateLocationAircraft typeRegistrationDescriptionAboardFatalities
24 March 1927Tambo,Australiade Havilland DH.9CG-AUEDStalled at low altitude on approach to land.33
4 September 1928Adelaide Hills,Australiade Havilland.50JG-AUHIFollowing a tour carrying Sir John Salmond, aircraft departed Adelaide piloted by C.W.A. Scott  with engineer as passenger; lost control in cloud during attempt to cross the Adelaide Hills and aircraft crashed and caught fire killing the engineer.21
3 October 1934Near Winton,Australiade Havilland.50AVH-UHECrashed after in-flight loss of control, possibly stalled at low altitude in dusty low-visibility conditions.33
15 November 1934Near Longbeach,Australia de Havilland.DH86VH-USGCrashed on its delivery flight from England to Brisbane after in-flight loss of control, probably due to the type's design deficiencies.44
30 January 1942Timor Sea off KupangShorts S.23 Empire Flying BoatG-AEUHShot down by Japanese aircraft; ex-Qantas VH-ABD, owned by Imperial Airways and operated by Qantas.1813
20 February 1942Brisbane,Australiade Havilland.DH86VH-USELost control after take-off in stormy weather, possibly broke-up in flight (tail fin found a mile from the crash site).99
28 February 1942Tjilatjah, Netherlands East IndiesShorts S.23 Empire Flying BoatG-AETZShot down by Japanese aircraft; ex-Qantas owned by Imperial Airways and operated by Qantas.2020
22 April 1943Gulf of Papua off Port Moresby,PapuaShorts S.23 Empire Flying BoatVH-ADUBroke up in heavy seas after emergency landing in open water in poor weather.3113
26 November 1943Port Moresby,Papualockheed C-56B lodestar42-68348Struck hill after take-off; USAAF aircraft operated by Qantas for Allied Directorate of Air Transport.1515
11 October 1944Rose Bay,Sydney AustraliaShorts S.23 Empire Flying BoatVH-ABBOn final approach with one engine shut-down, stalled 3 metres (10 ft) above the water and hull ruptured on impact.301
23 March 1946Indian OceanAvro LancastrianG-AGLXAircraft disappeared between Colombo and the Cocos (keeling) islands,cause unknown; aircraft owned by BOAC and operated by both airlines on Sydney-London services (BOAC crews operated London-Karachi and Qantas crews Karachi-Sydney).1010
16 July 1951Huon Gulf near Lae,Papua New Guineade Havilland Australia DHA-3 DroverVH-EBQCrashed in sea after centre propeller failure.77

Incident Summary (1960-2010):

  • On 24 August 1960,plane:Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation.During takeoff from runway 13, engine number 3 lost power just before reaching the V1 speed of 115 knots. The captain pulled off the power, braked hard, and pulled selected reverse thrust. The aircraft however, did not decelerate as expected. The flight engineer feathered the number 3 engine and pulled its emergency shut-off valve. The Super Constellation, named "Southern Wave", could not be brought to a stop on the remaining runway and overran the runway at a speed of 40 knots. The airplane bounced over a low embankment, crashed into a gulley and caught fire.
  • On 23 September 1999, Qantas Flight 1:a Boeing 747–400 VH-OJH, overran the runway while landing at Bangkok,Thailand during a heavy thunderstorm. The aircraft ended up on a golf course, but without fatalities. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau criticised numerous inadequacies in Qantas' operational and training processes.

  • On 25 July 2008, Qantas Flight 30 a Boeing 747–400 VH-OJK, on the leg from Hong kong to Melbourne, suffered a rapid decompression and made an emergency landing in Manila after an explosion. There were no injuries. The ATSB officially stated that the incident was caused by the failure of an oxygen tank.

  • On 7 October 2008, Qantas Flight 72:an Airbus A330-300 VH-QPA "Kununurra" travelling from Singapore to Perth suffered a rapid loss of altitude in two sudden uncommanded pitch down manoeuvres causing serious injuries while 80 nautical miles (150 km) from Learmonth, Australia. The aircraft safely landed in Learmonth, with 14 people requiring transportation by air ambulance to Perth. Another 30 people also required hospital treatment, while an additional 30 people had injuries not requiring hospital treatment.Initial investigations identified an inertial reference system fault in the Number-1 Air Data Inertial Reference Unit as the likely origin of the event. On receiving false indication of a very high angle of attack, the flight control systems commanded a pitch down movement, reaching a maximum of 8.5 degrees pitch down.
  • On 4 November 2010 Qantas Flight 32: an Airbus A380, named "Nancy-Bird Walton" and registered VH-OQA, fitted with four Trent 972 engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce suffered an uncontained turbine disc failure of its left inboard engine shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport.The flight returned to Singapore and landed safely, and all 433 passengers and 26 crew on board survived uninjured. Cowling parts of the failed engine fell over Batam island,Indonesia.