Perth Qantas flight bound for Sydney returns with landing gear issue
A Qantas flight from Perth has been forced to turn around after a landing gear issue was reported mid-air.
Flight QF642 from Perth to Sydney departed about 9.30am but the pilot started returning to Perth shortly after take-off.
A Qantas spokesperson said the decision was made due to a hydraulic problem, which meant the landing gear could not retract.
The airline claims the issue was not an emergency because there was no “PAN” message or Mayday call and has instead referred to it as an “unscheduled landing”
“Reports that it was an emergency landing are incorrect however emergency services attended as precaution,” a Qantas statement said.
The route map for the aircraft shows the aircraft turned around over the Perth Hills before looping back to the airport.
Emergency crews were on standby for the landing but the Airbus A330 aircraft has since landed safely with 224 passengers on board. The plan was towed from the runway and passengers were able to go into the terminal as normal.
Perth Glory chief executive Tony Pignata, who was a passenger on the flight, said the incident “wasn’t pleasant”.
“Well that wasn’t pleasant having to circle for a bit and land in Perth after the landing gear failed to retract,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Well done to the @Qantas captain and crew in getting us safely back on the ground and keeping us informed. Ah the joys of flying.”
Mr Pignata told PerthNow he heard a “funny noise” before the captain made an announcement to passengers.
“The captain came on the PA and said ‘you would have heard a noise, that’s the landing gear not retracting’
“We circled for about 45 minutes before we came in to land,” he said.
Mr Pignata said there was an unusual atmosphere on the aircraft as passengers tried to keep their cool while the plane circled.
“I felt pretty anxious and a bit stressed until we landed. Everyone was quiet there was no chatter, people were playing with their phones and just trying to stay calm,” he said.
Talkback radio callers had reported seeing smoke from the aircraft. However, Mr Pignata said he had not seen anything from his window seat.
Passengers, he said, were now waiting to find out when they will be able to leave for Sydney.
Qantas said it was trying to get the travellers to Sydney “as quickly as possible”.
Ben Drury watched the plane land at Perth Airport.
“The plane landed on the runway and coming to a stop safely at the end, it was then followed by fire trucks as a safety precaution,” he said.
Yesterday, a flight from Perth to Melbourne was forced to land in South Australia due to a thunderstorm.
Flight QF476 departed Perth at 10.32am and was due to land at 5.05pm Victorian time (2.05pm, WA time).
However, less than hour from its scheduled arrival, the pilot was forced to turn the Boeing 737 around and land in Adelaide.