6 Nov 2010

Passengers tell of fear in second Qantas engine scare

10:13 pm on 6 November 2010

Qantas passengers have told of panic as another of the airline's planes developed engine trouble shortly after takeoff from Singapore - the second such incident in two days.

A Qantas spokesperson says a Boeing 747-400 experienced a problem with one of its engines shortly after take-off at 9.17pm (local time) on Friday, and turned back to Changi International Airport.


The spokesperson said the airline was waiting to speak to the crew of flight QF6 for more information.

The four-engined aircraft, with 412 passengers and 19 crew, was flying to Sydney from Singapore.

Some of the passengers on board say they saw flames or sparks coming from one of its engines.

One passenger told the ABC the flight crew shouted for them to adopt the crash position. Some passengers were screaming, the broadcaster said.

Second incident

Less than 48 hours earlier, a Qantas Airbus A380 flying the same route was forced to turn back just minutes after leaving Changi International Airport, when an explosion occurred in one of its engines, scattering debris over an Indonesian island.

Most of the 433 passengers who had been on the Airbus returned to Sydney late Friday night on a special flight.

The ABC reported on Saturday that the pilot and cabin crew from the A380 flight were also on board the 747, and were making their third attempt to head home to Sydney.

Qantas said a faulty part or design fault might have caused the damage to the plane's Rolls-Royce engine. The airline is keeping its A380s grounded while they are checked.

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth says it is a coincidence the engine faults occurred on the same route within days.

"They're different engines, while they're the same manufacturer, so these issues are unrelated," she said.

The Boeing 747 also runs on Rolls-Royce engines.