The daily Qantas emergency

If you check the news reports these days, you will find that the company that has been experiencing the majority of the failures and (minor) problems in this period is Qantas airlines. On Aug. 13 a B747-300 was flying from Melbourne to Auckland with 219 passengers and 16 crew when one of its engines lost power due to a faulty fuel-flow regulator and landed with 3 operative engines.
On the same day, a Qantas Boeing 767 experienced a hydraulic failure which affected the plane’s steering after landing at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International airport, arriving from Melbourne. The aircraft left a trail of hydraulic fluid on the tarmac. Therefore the runway had to be closed for 40 minutes.
On Aug. 15, a B747-400 flying from Melbourne to London Heathrow via Singapore, lost a small engine access panel. The problem was discovered during the routine checks performed on the aircraft after the arrival at Changi airport. Even if this was only a minor problem as the access panel was non-structural, the flight to London was delayed of about 6 hours.
I’m pretty sure the media sensationalize any problem on any Qantas flight. Such problems occur almost daily around the World. What is very unusual is that only one airline is involved. Do these incidents spotlight the maintenance process?
The real problem was the decompression on-board a B747-438 following the explosion on the QF30 cargo bay. All the other problems, IFSD comprised, are, more or less normal tech issues that affect any other airline in the World. Not so normal is that they occured in the timeframe comprised between Jul 25 and Aug 15 to a single airline. What’s really weird is that normaly, such problems are not advertized by the airlines. At Qantas, each single problem is notified to the press with plenty of details.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.