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Hydraulic failure sees Qantas passengers ‘brace’ for impact

written by Hannah Dowling | June 1, 2022

QantasLink Dash 8, VH-QOM, departs from Wellcamp for the first time in 2 years (Lenn Bayliss)

Qantas passengers onboard a QantasLink Dash 8 on Sunday sent loving messages to family and friends as they were repeatedly told to “brace” during an emergency landing at Sydney Airport.

Flight QF2008 was travelling from Sydney to Tamworth on Sunday night when the pilots reportedly found a fault in the plane’s hydraulic system that had drained part of its hydraulic fluid – a critical requirement for operating the aircraft’s controls and brakes.

The flight was on approach to Tamworth when the flight crew decided to abort the landing at around 5000 feet and return to Sydney.

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph, passengers onboard the flight were repeatedly told to “brace” in preparation for landing, and were informed by the pilots that there was a chance the aircraft would over-run the runway.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Aviation that the pilots were alerted to a possible issue with the hydraulics systems and “followed the standard procedures” before landing safely in Sydney.

“Passengers were informed that the aircraft may need to be towed to the gate after landing due to the hydraulic issue. At no point was the aircraft at risk of not landing on the runway,” they added.

“We understand this would have been a very unsettling experience for our passengers and sincerely thank them for their co-operation throughout the flight.”

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One passenger told The Daily Telegraph that passengers onboard began sending “last messages” to loved ones, as they feared for the result of the landing, while being told to “brace, brace, brace” by cabin crew.

The plane managed to land successfully and “rolled to a standstill”, according to the passengers, and was quickly met by emergency crews.

Passengers were able to disembark within 15 minutes of landing, and were accommodated onto flights to Tamworth on Monday morning.

The Dash 8 was inspected by Qantas engineers, and was returned to service after 44 hours on the ground.

Comments (18)

  • Lynden Kemp

    says:

    Yet another concerning incident for the “Safest Airline in the World”
    I can’t help but ask – For how long?

    • John

      says:

      That the aircraft landed and all passenger disembarked continues to demonstrate the ‘safest airline’ description.

      • Lynden Kemp

        says:

        Do you believe in “The Law of Averages”?
        Lady Luck again perhaps?
        Surf the net and view the Qantas incidents over the past few years.
        My response is a simple fact – “when will Lady Luck not shine”?

    • Des

      says:

      IDIOTS, never understand and make very unnecessary comments about things they know nothing about , if you don’t know what your talking about. JUST SHUT UP , & let people who know what is going resolve the problem.
      I would get on QANTAS every day very safe AIRLINE.

      • Lynden Kemp

        says:

        You are welcome Des!
        Enjoy flying Qantas – “The Safest Airline in the World”

  • Phil

    says:

    Why is brace in quotation marks? Either they did or they didn’t. The spread of the illiterate American grammatical habit of putting quotation marks around random words to maybe-possibly-but-not-always emphasise them is annoying.

    • JLO

      says:

      Erm…because it was a quotation from when the pilot quoth “brace, brace, brace”. Or possibly “Brace. Brace. Brace!” Which is a great outcome compared with (or, possibly, compared to) “Braaaaac…!!!”

  • Ross

    says:

    Hope they said the welcome to country before landing

  • John

    says:

    If Dash 8 heavy maintenance is based at Tamworth and the problem is with flight controls with potential to deteriorate further (without hydraulic pressure), in what way does flying back to SYD make any sense from a risk perspective or cost perspective? Granted that emergency services would be favourable at SYD but not needed if the aircraft doesn’t make it at all…

    • Raj

      says:

      Sydney runway is almost twice the length of Tanworth runway. Hence safer, if you have problem with brakes.

    • Kyle

      says:

      Longer Runway. 2200M at Tamworth vs 3962M at Sydney

  • Max

    says:

    Hey, we need a follow up story on this, was the root cause a failure in service procedures?

  • GEORGE BROWN

    says:

    I am guessing that there is no longer a requirement to turn off mobile phones before boarding (maybe they employed ESP to send messages?).

  • Alex

    says:

    Bizarre that a single hydraulic fault would reduce braking performance? Depends on the fault.

  • John

    says:

    Another non-event story. This stuff happens frequently around the world and I would expect the QF crew followed their procedure to the letter.

  • Anthony

    says:

    Perhaps the 3.5km runway at Sydney was a better option than the 2 km runway at Tamworth!!!
    Hydraulic issues may affect brakes and therefore landing distance. Plus landing distance is affected by weight and fuel will needed to be burnt one way or another to reduce weight and therefore landing distance required.
    Sydney is the obvious choice.

  • Noel

    says:

    John, I am guessing that the hydraulic system that failed powered primary brakes and possibly flaps. A flapless landing will be at a much higher reference speed. Add to that doubtful or limited braking and runway length becomes very much a determining factor. Tamworth has 2200 metres, Sydney 3962 metres. I know where I’d be going!

  • Khan

    says:

    44 hours on the ground and returned to service. Qantas safety record will remain untarnished as a result. I bet by Next week this aircraft will be retired.

    A Classic case of creative accounting.

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