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Published on : Friday, August 4, 2017
One of the aircraft suffered wing flap problems while the other had a crack to the outer pane of a cockpit windscreen just hours into their flights.
Boeing 747-400 jumbo – Qantas Flight 63 – on its way to Johannesburg in South Africa, departed Sydney just before 11am on Friday before the captain decided while above Tasmania to turn back to Sydney.
An A380 – QF7 – flying to Dallas in the United States, departed at 1.40pm and turned around shortly afterwards, circling over the Tasman Sea east of Wollongong.
QF63 passenger Jackson Reynolds said on Twitter that there was some issue with the heating mechanism which has made the crack on the windshield.
In an official statement, Qantas said flight QF7 was also suffering from a mechanical issue. The flaps attached on the wing were not able to retract which meant the aircraft could not fly efficiently. Though it was not a very serious issue but it would have caused the plane to burn significantly more fuel than required for the long-haul flight.
Qantas said the 747’s cracked pane “did not compromise the integrity of the aircraft”.
“The aircraft was safe to continue to Johannesburg but the captain made the decision to return as the windscreen will be replaced at Qantas’ engineering base in Sydney,” it said.
According to a spokesperson for Qantas, all the passengers would be accommodated or offered transport home before replacement services were organised.