Fragments, found on the Qantas 747 that had an emergency landing on Friday, are believed to be from an exploded oxygen tank. The combination of finding the fragments and the fact that some of the passenger’s oxygen masks did not work, the FAA is quite certain an oxygen tank is to blame for the explosion.
A few months ago the U.S. FAA prompted airlines to inspect their oxygen cylinders. They warned that cylinders on 747-400’s may not have been properly heat treated which could cause them to fail.
Qantas states that all their aircraft were inspected and passed. However, they have been ordered to inspect every oxygen bottle aboard all their 30 747’s.
All things considered, this incident could have been much worse.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald Image: MSNBC.com
When reading the story about the 747-400 Qantas having to make an emergency landing, I couldn’t help but think about the 1988 Best Movie Rain Man.
Chalie: Ray, all airlines have crashed at one time or another, that doesn’t mean that they are not safe.
Raymond: QANTAS. QANTAS never crashed.
Raymond: Never crashed.
Charlie: Oh that’s gonna do me a lot of good because QANTAS doesn’t fly to Los Angeles out of Cincinnati, you have to get to Melbourne! Melbourne, Australia in order to get the plane that flies to Los Angeles!
Well, upon more research I found this is not quite true. Between 1927 and 1951 Qantas had eight planes crash, with 62 deaths. However, Qantas has never lost a jet plane and has not had a fatal crash since 1951, which seems to be a pretty good record.
They did repair a 747 for over $100 million so they could keep the “never lost a jet” status and in February a Quantaslink 717 made an emergency landing causing great damage and may not be repairable.
All things being said, even if they “lose” this 717, not having any deaths since 1951 is nothing to be ashamed of.
THANKS BEN FOR THE TIP!
Source: The Guardian Image: planegeezer