A Qantas flight destined for Sydney was forced to make an abrupt landing in Perth overnight, after a critical failure of the air conditioning systems. Terrifyingly, the plane made an emergency descent of over thirty thousand feet!
According to Qantas representatives, the QF2 flight had begun in Dubai and was not showing any outward signs of trouble. But after the fault became apparent, the captain made the brave decision to put the plane into a rapid descent. The A380 fell from forty thousand to ten thousand feet just an hour outside of Perth. Fearing further damage or a large scale accident, the captain radioed the Perth ground control in order to organise an emergency landing.
Suddenly, staff and passengers were informed of the emergency descent. Passenger Nigel Richardson was live tweeting the dramatic events as they unfolded. “Words you don’t expect to hear while on a plane ‘Cabin crew this is an emergency descent’,” he wrote. “Fastest descent I’ve ever experienced in a plane. Always interesting when you see cabin crew running too…”
After a period of low altitude flying, the plane landed safely at 1:00am and was promptly inspected by a crew of Qantas engineers. Though the last portion of the flight had been bumpy, the company stood by the decision of its captain. Qantas spokesman Andrew McGinnes affirmed this in an interview with the ABC: “It’s certainly a lot smoother up where we normally fly around 30-40,000 feet, so if you are flying at 10,000 feet you don’t want to do that for too long, simply from a comfort point of view. So that’s another reason why the decision was made to divert.”
On-board, passengers remained informed of the events and the staff handled the situation with poise and calm. “Nice than #qantas first officer walking through plane giving personal situation update to everyone as best he can. Full marks to crew #QF2,” Mr. Richardson tweeted. “Safe but late = safe. Qantas crew consistently outstanding.”
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