Qantas engine-problem plane lands in Dubai

Oil problem forces shutdown of one of the A380's four engines, on anniversary of previous mid-air engine explosion.

    The crew of the A380 acted after noticing a problem with the engine's oil quantity [EPA]

    A Qantas Airways flight diverted to Dubai has landed safely after an oil problem forced the shutdown of one of the plane's four engines.

    The crew of the A380 acted after noticing a problem with the engine's oil quantity, Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said.

    Flight QF31, heading from Singapore to London on Friday, had 258 passengers and 25 crew, none of whom were hurt.

    Exactly a year ago, another Qantas A380 had a mid-air engine explosion after take-off from Singapore.

    In that case, a defective engine pipe leaked oil, sparking a fire that destroyed a turbine disc and sent pieces of the disc into the plane's wing, an Australian safety report said.

    A380s around the world were grounded so engine maker Rolls-Royce could replace the part.

    'One-off incident'

    Wirth said the anniversary was a coincidence and the events were unrelated.

    "This is a one-off incident. Obviously, it will be a priority of ours to work out what the particular problem is in this engine," she said.

    Engineers were inspecting the plane in Dubai, and it was not expected to be back in the air on Friday, Qantas said.

    The airline was booking passengers onto alternate flights to London.

    Last weekend, Qantas grounded its entire fleet and threatened locked out unions that had been staging months of strikes.

    The move stranded thousands of passengers around the world and enraged government officials, who ordered an emergency tribunal hearing.

    On Monday, the court ordered the airline to end the lockout and ordered the unions to halt their strikes. Flights were back to normal by Tuesday.

    On Wednesday, officials said police were investigating the suspected sabotage of the entertainment system on a Qantas plane. 

    The airline said engineers noticed several wires were cut on the plane's in-flight entertainment system on Ocober 26, the height of the labour dispute.

    The engineers' union said it was unlikely the plane was sabotaged because of the union's dispute with the airline.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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