Qantas under investigation over mid-air nosedive
Qantas will be investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) after a mid-air incident last week.
Two Qantas A380 jets were flying from Los Angeles to Australia, departing two minutes apart.
The aircraft behind flew into wake turbulence, generated by the other jet flying about 20 nautical miles ahead.
The Australian reports Qantas failed to alert the ATSB and claims some passengers held hands as the plane dropped, in a 10-second nosedive.
Another passenger, Maureen, has told Macquarie Radio most passengers remained calm and the pilot kept them informed.
“The captain thought it was quite unusual but it wasn’t too bad.
“I just thought, oh God, it’s going to be a bit rough and then the captain told us what had happened.”
Qantas has confirmed the incident in a statement by Fleet Safety Captain Debbie Slade (full statement below).
“We understand that any sudden turbulence can be a jolt for passengers but aircraft are designed to handle it safely.”
Click PLAY below to hear Maureen’s account
Full Qantas statement by Fleet Safety Captain Debbie Slade
“We understand that any sudden turbulence can be a jolt for passengers but aircraft are designed to handle it safely.
As the Captain explained to passengers at the time, this A380 experienced a short burst of wake turbulence from another A380 flying ahead and above it.
There are a lot of safeguards in place to reduce the likelihood of wake turbulence encounters, but it’s hard to eliminate.
Unexpected turbulence is why we always recommend passengers keep their seat belt firmly fastened at all times just as pilots do in the flight deck.
The aircraft were 20 nautical miles apart in distance and 1,000 feet in altitude.
The wake turbulence was due to another A380 above and ahead of the QF94, operating the QF 12 to Sydney.