Door opens mid-Qantas flight; plane makes an emergency landing

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Monday, July 28, 2008

An undercarriage door opened during a Qantas flight yesterday, causing the flight to make an emergency landing. The Boeing 737-800 plane departed Adelaide, Australia, was bound for Melbourne, but returned to Adelaide to make the landing at approximately 6:15 p.m. local Australian time.

A Qantas Boeing 737 from the 800 series seen in Melbourne in 2005.
Image: Marcus Wong.

According to Qantas officials, the door did not close correctly over a wheel bay and the flight turned back towards Adelaide when it was near Murray Bridge. Passengers in the plane said there was chaos in the cabin when the undercarriage door opened.

When the jet arrived back in Adelaide, some of the passengers aboard were transferred to another Qantas flight. Some passengers refused transport on another Qantas flight though, and chose to fly with Virgin Blue or another method of transport. It is not known how many passengers were aboard, but the plane could have carried up to 168 passengers.

This incident follows a hole blasting in the fuselage of a Qantas 747 international flight to Melbourne, forcing the plane to land in Manilla, Philippines.

Yesterday, Jetstar boss Alan Joyce was named the new chief executive of parent company Qantas; he will take over for Geoff Dixon on November 28.

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