A QantasLink Boeing 717 that found itself stuck in the mud at Rockhampton Airport last week has finally been freed.
The ABC reports the aircraft was released on Saturday afternoon after engineers worked on the issue throughout the week.
VH-NXH, en route from Brisbane as QF1798, “inadvertently” rolled into soft soil during a taxi that went wrong.
A Qantas spokesperson earlier told the Courier Mail that the pilot of the plane was taxiing at low speed when they “guided the aircraft across soft ground and became stuck just before the terminal”.
Despite the plane’s wheels being firmly stuck, passengers were able to safely disembark onto the apron.
The aircraft was due to depart on the return flight from Rockhampton to Brisbane on Monday evening, however, the plane was unable to be removed from the mud.
Passengers faced a short delay and were rebooked onto another aircraft.
Rockhampton Regional Council, which manages the airport, said there was no further impact to the airport’s operations.
As of Monday morning (18 July), VH-NXH has still yet to take to the skies.
Rockhampton resident Gillian Koch was a passenger on the plane and played down the incident in an interview with the ABC.
“It landed perfectly, brilliantly,” Koch said.
“Then we sort of went sluggish … and all of a sudden it went to a screaming halt, and that was when the front tyres went in and then the back tyres went in and sunk.
“But we still didn’t know that it was where it was. It certainly wasn’t any issue. The staff were just brilliant.”
QantasLink Boeing B717-200 VH-NXH is closed up for left for the night after becoming bogged near Taxiway Bravo at #Rockhampton Airport on Monday evening. It arrived as QJE1798 and was taxiing in to park after landing.
Photos taken by Russell Prothero. pic.twitter.com/X2dxDBRhOM
— cqplanespotting (@cqplanespotting) July 11, 2022