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Old 12-10-2008, 10:10 PM
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The QANTAS ScareBus A330 that made an emergency landing in Learmonth (Exmouth) was virtually brand new - QANTAS having only just taken delivery of that particular aircraft from Toulouse France.

There appears to have been a malfunction of one of its flight control computers (FCC) or possible interference in the control circuits that control the elevator(s) ie. The flight controls that climb or descend the A330.

When your flying with an airspeed around 900km p/h airspeed at cruise altitudes, it takes very very small inputs to the flight controls to induce significantly large G - force loadings on the airframe and passengers that can cause damage and injury.

The pilots have said that one moment all they saw in the cockpit windscreen was complete blue sky, the next a windscreen full of deep blue water - there were some pretty significant pitch attitudes cause by the malfunction.

QANTAS sent up a Boeing 767 and also a QANTASLink Boeing 717 to rescue the pax. and crew. Everyone was pretty shaken up - understandably. Particularly the crew, who operate in the A330 week in week out.

Airbus is also sending an investigation team out from Toulouse to download logged Aircraft data and examine the aircraft. It was a very serious incident.

As for mobile phones - certain models on the Telstra Next G network have coverage way out into the outback deserts of Australia at cruise altitude (30 000 feet plus). You would be amazed at the reception distance with line of sight coverage to the mobile transmission tower.

QANTAS have had a serious accident - the Bangkok Boeing 747 aircraft runway overrun in heavy rain by one of QANTAS most senior pilots - a "Simulator Check and Trainer" pilot. September 23rd 1999.

It cost QANTAS more than 100 Million to repair the B747 - more than the aircraft was worth just so QANTAS could keep their insurance premiums down and never have a jet hull loss on their books.

Links here:

Full ATSB report here:

"You can turn your back on a person, but, never turn your back on a drug. Especially when it's waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye." - Raoul Duke
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