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Probe into aborted Qantas landing

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Aviation authorities are investigating the decision to abort a late night landing of a Qantas flight in heavy rain at Brisbane Airport.QF 638 from Melbourne was about to land just behind schedule at 11pm Wednesday when it suddenly "shot up steeply", according to passengers."About five or 10 minutes into the descend, we suddenly went full throttle and shot very steeply up and it was a bit scary," 17-year-old Adam Gilmore from Brisbane told AAP.The plane then diverted to Tamworth Airport where passengers were forced to stay in the aircraft and wait for four hours before flying into Brisbane at about 5am today.Qantas apologised to the passengers, but Dick Wright who was on the flight said he was baffled why the plane took off from Melbourne in the first place."We should not have left Melbourne," he told ABC radio."The weather was so bad and the runway was under repair and they knew they couldn't land."Qantas spokesman Michael Sharp said the pilot made the decision to abort the landing in the interests of the passengers' safety.The pilot was aware the main runway at Brisbane's airport was undergoing maintenance but chose not to use the alternative one in the heavy rainfall, Mr Sharp said."The captain made the decision that with the particularly bad weather that was prevailing at the time he wanted to wait until the main runway was available," Mr Sharp said."Certainly it was not an enjoyable experience for the passengers waiting in Tamworth for four hours but all these decisions were made by the pilot and by Qantas in the best interest of safety."The Brisbane Airport Corporation made assurances its second runway was safe despite the incident and said everyone had been notified of the maintenance work being carried out for the last six months.Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesman Peter Gibson said the second runway had a low instrumentation system which may also have contributed to the pilot's decision to abort."In other words the pilot didn't have as much assistance from the navigation aids on the cross runway as you would have had for the main runway which lowers the ability to land in bad weather," Mr Gibson said.CASA is waiting for a full written statement from Qantas operations and will speak to BAC before compiling a report on the incident.Qantas is yet to decide if it will compensate passengers.

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Interesting article.I wonder if the pilot's unwillingness to land in wet conditions was influenced by a Qantas B747-300 accident at Bangkok (I think I have the location correct) about 4-5 years ago. In that accident, the aircraft could not be stopped on the runway. although reports I read indicated that the aircraft was fast and high on approach (there were various other mitigating issues too).What type of aircraft was this one?Bruce.

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Interesting story, but as usual the press overdid it.

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hi,the 747 incident was in 1999 i think, this aircraft was a 737-800 NG

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Hey guys,Take it from almost thirty years of observation, accuracy about aviation, and "the press" shouldn't be used in the same sentence. :)Also, second guessing the skipper of any aircraft is a waste of time....take care all,BBall-------------------Capt. William "BBall" BallBoeing 757, Northwest AirlinesSenior Editorwww.frugalsworld.com

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