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QantasLink 717 stuck in the mud finally escapes

written by Adam Thorn | July 18, 2022

Qantas Boeing 717 bogged in the mud at Rockhampton (Twitter user @cqplanespotting / Russell Prothero)

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.

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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.

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“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.”

Comments (4)

  • Gary

    says:

    Not the first time an airliner got stuck in the mud at Rockhampton. An ANSETT-ANA Electra VH-RMC taxied off the taxiway on 28 March 1968 with the left hand main gear sinking into soft ground.

  • Damian

    says:

    Wonder if PF still has a job?

  • Scott

    says:

    Reminds me of the Boeing 707 that got stuck in the snow at “Lincoln International Airport” and was blocking the main runway in the original Airport movie.

    • Vannus

      says:

      Yes, Scott, that was a great movie!

      At its’ release time, the ‘word’ going around was that that aircraft was a former QANTAS one!

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