Is Qantas on a trajectory for diaster?
By avalon on Jul 26, 2008
On Saturday the 26th of July, 2008, a Qantas plane experienced rapid decompression and was forced to descend to 10,000' before an emergency landing at Manilla. When this was first announced, there was speculation of whether it was a bomb, was it bad maintenance or just metal fatigue. While some comments on the Internet have talked about things being "blow upwards" into the passenger area, that doesn't mesh with the reports I've read. However it was somewhat scary to read that the oxygen masks failed to work as they should...but perhaps, just perhaps, this fits in with later comments...
In Australia, the union that the people who work on the planes belong to was quick to bring up the question of whether or not it was cheap overseas labor that could be blamed. Unfortunately not so. The plane's recent service history points to all work being done at home.
Today another article appeared, mentioning that Qantas has been asked to inspect all of the oxygen bottles on all of its aircraft. The reason why: those very bottles are normally located very close to where the hole appeared on QF30. Oops. Wonder if the bottles were a bit old?
Whilst perusing averald.com, I came across another report that details an incident in February 2007 involving a Qantas plane:
- in summary, Qantas changed its procedures in a manner that introduced a risk that led to a problem, specifically:
- A recent revision to the company refuelling procedures had extended the time between the required fuel water drain checks. (Safety issue)
Now to me that looks like the type of change you would implement to cut down on your operational (maintainance) costs, correct?
How many other changes has Qantas made, in recent years, that are similar in nature to this that have the potential for introducing a failure that leads to catasrophe? And is the QF30 flight another symptom of this kind of change?
Sounds to me like there are some...direct and possibly embaressing questions that need to be put to Qantas...
Disclaimer: I'm a Qantas frequent flyer and wherever possible attempt to fly on OneWorld flghts...well...maybe that's up for review now... many of those flights are over large expanses of water with no airports anywhere close by...
In a further update to this incident, oxygen bottle fragments have been found suggesting that indeed one of the oxygen bottles did explode, leaving the question how and why.