A Jetstar flight from Melbourne was nose-heavy at take-off because passengers hadn’t been seated properly in one of two “serious incidents” being investigated by Australia’s air safety watchdogs.
The pilot of the Perth-bound Airbus A321 flight needed to pull back almost completely on the controls to raise it after taking off on October 29.
The distribution of passengers was unbalanced and passengers needed to be moved to other seats, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said.
In a separate incident also involving the budget airline, an Airbus A320 flight from Brisbane to Melbourne took on board 16 more passengers than advised, making it 1328kg heavier than the weight used to calculate take-off and landing data.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is also investigating the incidents, looking at factors including the root causes of the errors, actions taken by Jetstar afterwards, the airline’s compliance with regulations and any relevant ongoing flight safety issues.
“CASA will take all appropriate actions to ensure Jetstar maintains robust and appropriate systems and processes to ensure passenger loading mistakes do not recur,” a spokesman said.
Jetstar said both flights landed safely and the overloading incidents were reported to authorities.
Since then, the airline has enforced additional measures to check that flights have been loaded correctly and that aircraft weight and balance is properly accounted for.
“We’ve had no flights operate with this type of error since we introduced these measures,” a Jetstar spokesman said.
He said Jetstar was working closely with investigators.