An A340 operating a charter flight carrying 115 Australian troops to the Middle East made a hard landing in Darwin on February 28.
No one was hurt in the incident, which was blamed on bad weather and heavy winds. The aircraft remains in Darwin awaiting a technical assessment and the ATSB will investigate the incident, Defence said.
A replacement aircraft was flown from the UK to Al Minhad air base near Dubai to pick up another group of 61 Australian troops who had been scheduled to come home on the return leg of the affected flight. Those troops arrived in Perth on Saturday morning.
“Any delay in getting our people home is regrettable,” Defence said in a statement.
ADF troops going to and from the Middle East typically fly aboard an Airbus A340 chartered by Brisbane based Adagold Aviation under a $122 million contract. The flights are operated by Portuguese firm Hifly.
The latest incident comes two weeks after news reports, quoting a former flight attendant, suggested the flights operate with poor safety standards and little security.
In its statement this weekend, Defence said Adagold “has consistently met and continues to meet it MEAO Air Sustainment contractual obligations to the full satisfaction of Defence.”
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