Aviation

Mayday incident leaves Qantas crew “incapacitated” and “gasping for air”

Aviation safety authorities have revealed shocking details of a mayday incident three years ago that left both the captain and co-pilot incapacitated.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released a report detailing an incident onboard a Boeing 737-376 Special Freighter operated by Express Freighters Australia which resulted in an emergency landing.

On 15 August 2018, the plane was flying from Brisbane Airport to Melbourne Airport when its master caution light began to flicker.

After troubleshooting with a Sydney Line Maintenance Operations engineer, the crew noted a rising cabin altitude and both the captain and first officer, or co-pilot, said they began to feel unwell.

The two donned emergency oxygen masks and contacted air traffic control to request descent, fearing they would become incapacitated due to fumes in the cockpit.

“During the initial stages of the descent the captain reported that after manipulating the mask settings an ingestion of pressurised oxygen occurred,” the ATSB report said.

“This resulted in a choking and gagging response from the captain. The first officer, cognisant that they had previously discussed feeling unwell, observed the captain slumped forward, gagging, and gasping for air.

“The first officer recalled checking on the captain during this episode but not receiving a response.”

The first officer broadcasted a mayday to air traffic control and commenced an emergency descent.

After the flight was diverted to Canberra, the first officer experienced symptoms consistent with hyperventilation, and the captain declared the first officer incapacitated and requested emergency services to meed the flight upon landing.

Once the plane had safely landed in Canberra, aviation rescue fire fighters conducted an air sample test that detected no fumes.

Both the captain and first officer were transported to hospital via ambulance for medical assessment.

During post-flight inspections, Qantas engineers identified a range of serviceability issues with the aircraft fuselage cabin drain valves, fuselage door seal, and the auxiliary power unit duct bellow seal that affected the capacity for the aircraft to hold cabin pressure.

The ATSB said Express Freighters, which is owned by Qantas, introduced enhancements and amendments to its maintenance and inspection regimes.


Featured image source: iStock/MatusDuda



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Events

Top 12 unmissable events for Italian summer trips

Summer in Italy means sunshine, gelato, promenading after dinner, Aperols overlooking the ocean, hiking, cycling…and a jam-packed events calendar.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airport queues return in anticipation of the school holidays

If you were looking for a good chance to relisten to Led Zeppelin’s entire discography but can’t find the time, we recommend booking a flight to literally anywhere from Sydney or Melbourne airport this month.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland government mulls tourism tax

In response to this, the NSW government will be introducing an ice-cream tax, which has infuriated primary school kids across the state.

Share

CommentComments