One would imagine that our Aussie cousins will be seriously reconsidering who their carrier of choice is. Since 2006 there has been an ever-growing litany of less than favourable incidents that raise questions about safety aboard the ‘flying kangaroo’ fleet. The latest involved a fire on the flight-deck that the pilots had to deal with after the automatic extinguisher system failed to do the job. I imagine that everybody is probably aware that today’s aircraft don’t need to have the full array of engines to stay in the air, but, quite frankly I have the view that if the ‘plane is fitted with 4 engines, then I want ALL 4 engines happily humming away together! It has been proven that some aircraft are able to stay in the air without some of their control surfaces in operation, but, quite frankly I have the view that if the ‘plane has an array of control surfaces they are there for a purpose and I want them all in working order!
There will always be accidental incidents that are unavoidable like lightning or bird strike but so many of the problems that have led to aborted flights, diversions, or at the very least passenger alarm or even terror seem to be of a nature that suggests maintenance on at least some of the QANTAS fleet is suspect. Burning cloth in an engine, oil where oil shouldn’t be, systems failures, even tyre blowouts? Such events should be avoidable, surely, with proper maintenance checks?
At this stage none of these incidents have caused serious injury or worse, but one has to think that it is only a matter of time. That there haven’t been crashes is testament to the aircraft themselves but the travelling public will surely judge the airline on it’s diminishing safety record rather than that as yet the aeroplanes have (sort of) stayed in the air.
BIG NEWS! QANTAS haven’t had an incident on their Australia to Japan link since the big earthquake in Japan!!!! Oh! That’s right- they suspended flights so of course there wouldn’t be!