Door Almost Ripped Off From Qantas Airbus A380

A door on one of Qantas’ flagship A380s was just about ripped off the aircraft while it was being rolled out of a hangar at Sydney Airport (SYD). The incident occurred when the double-decker Airbus A380 registration number VH-OQB was being taken out of hangar 96 at Sydney Airport following routine maintenance.

Qantas had to cancel the Sydney-Dallas flight after the door incident. Photo:

According to reports, the aircraft was being towed out of the hangar when its door got caught up on scaffolding and was almost completely ripped off the aircraft.

A Qantas flight to Dallas had to be canceled due to the incident

The accident occurred last Friday and caused the cancelation of Qantas flight number QF7 on Saturday from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) in Texas. The return flight to Australia, Qantas QF8 which was scheduled for today, Sunday, November 10th, 2019 also had to be canceled.

Qantas released a statement about the flight cancelations carried to the Brisbane Times. It said that they confirmed that the aircraft door of the A380 sustained some damage inside the hangar during maintenance. “We are working to minimize impacts to our customers and we apologize for any delays.”

Passengers who were booked on flights QF7 and QF8 were put on alternative flights.

Qantas has 12 Airbus A380s

The Airbus A380 is the jewel of the Australian airline’s fleet, of which it has 12 aircraft. Currently, two of the planes are out of service undergoing refurbishment in Brisbane and Abu Dhabi. The A380 that was damaged in Sydney now needs to have its door replaced, with engineers saying it should be able to re-enter service in around two weeks.

This is how the door on an A380 is supposed to look like. Photo: Prayitno via Flickr

This latest maintenance issue comes after Qantas grounded three of its Boeing 737 fleet after having found cracks in the pickle fork. This is a device that reinforces the join between the aircraft’s wings and the fuselage.

Qantas inspected all 33 of its Boeing 737 aircraft for pickle fork issues more than a week ago. Then it took three planes out of service despite Boeing and airline regulators saying pickle fork cracks did not pose an immediate safety risk.

Qantas always put safety first

When Qantas was asked by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) about the pickle fork issues Australian national flag carrier issued a statement that read:

“We have found one example of cracking in an aircraft with just under 27,000 cycles (take-offs and landings), and this aircraft has been removed from service for repair.”

“None of Qantas’ 737s have reached the 30,000 cycle mark. However, out of an abundance of caution, we will have inspected 33 aircraft with more than 22,600 cycles by the end of the week rather than the seven months required.”

“Detailed analysis by Boeing shows that even when a crack is present, it does not immediately compromise the safety of the aircraft, as indicated by the timeframe given by regulators to perform the checks.”

Qantas grounded three 737s after discovering pickle fork cracks. Photo: Mertie via Flickr

According to aviation consultancy firm IBA, it costs around $188,000 (USD) to fix pickle fork cracks per aircraft. Qantas went on to reiterate that there was no immediate safety risk posed by cracks in the aircraft’s pickle forks.

“Qantas would never operate an aircraft unless it was completely safe to do so,” Qantas said.

Having looked at a photo of the mangled door, it is hard to imagine how they could tow the aircraft out of the hanger. This is without first checking to see that there were no obstructions in the way.

Also, the door must not have been closed properly for it to get snagged. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.

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Is it just me, or are we hearing about more and more incidents during aircraft towing?
Is the problem perhaps caused by tow personnel looking at their phones rather than checking their surroundings?
A mowing machine went along my street last week and I could see that the operator was spending most of his time apping, and only looking occasionally at the grass he was mowing.


I would say that corporate demands to reduce costs and increase efficiency have lead to overworked and understaffed maintenance teams. This would in turn lead to a higher likelihood of accidents and mistakes during maintenance and aircraft movements.


Forest Gump is alive and well… stupid is as stupid does… 🙂

alan reeves

you cant quite picture how this could happen? being pushed out would have hit the tail first ? Mmmm tha rear door looks like its below the Tail height…whatever its difficult to understand

High Mile Club

Not exactly. Because the A380 is so big, the tail is usually sticking out of the hangar as the building doesn’t have enough height clearance for the stabilizer. However, this is a case where someone didn’t move the scaffold far away enough from the plane so it won’t be at risk damaging the aircraft; which is the first thing you do when prepping for pushback.


Goes to show you that, that dingbat CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce.
Should of least got either 4 or 8 of the remaining Airbus A380 had on options.
You wouldn’t have these problems then.
Plus the retired Boeing 747’s should be stored in the desert in Australia and in good order.
So when something like this happens they can call upon them to do the flights.

Parker West

The Qantas 747s not donated to museums are stored at the Mojave Air Park in the California desert. The companies beloved 767’s are also on site.


Yeah I know that.
Out near Alice Springs there is a storage for aircraft there.
Qantas have 767’s stored there and one of Singapore Airlines lot have 737Max stored there.
The runway is big enough to handle 747’s and A380’s.
Would make more sense to store them there.

Parker West

I found the picture to be hilarious, no I do feel for the folks who were inconvenienced by the need to be rescheduled on Virgin, American, United or Delta with stops or plane changes on the way. I don’t want to see a terrific carrier Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service losing a boatload of cash as a result of the incident. The image reminded me of an accident I haven’t thought about in decades. I was just a 9 or10 year old when our neighbor across the street accidentally tore the doors off the passenger side of his Mercury… Read more »

Leslie Hlatshwayo

Waw wonder what really happened, Was the scaffolding suppose to be removed before towing the beast of a bird out the hanger or the door was open; but on good news side, I am elated that BA and Emirates are still going to fly the A380 for the next 10 years, wish for the same with A340-600


Meh – doesn’t look to serious. I think it woulda been OK for the flight.
“‘Tis nothing but a flesh wound!”
On a serious note – I’m curious to know just how much this screw up would cost Qantas. When something happens to an A380, it is not going to be cheap, in terms of amount of people to reschedule, aircraft out of service and repairs. I wonder if anyone got sacked – we ever hit a plane and it was game over…


Flew on that A380 a few times Sydney to LA. The door hinge mech on the 380 looks similar to the design on all Airbus. Really kinda flimsy looking. I’m sure Quantas metal bashers will get it back in service in no time. Now on to other topics. It seems like the Author spent more time talking about the 737NG pickle fork than the headline A380 door damage. As a long time Boeing service rep, you have absolutely no idea about how many service letters, service bulletins, and AD’s that have come down the pike for Aircraft as old as… Read more »

Tis I

The pickle fork is supposed to last through the airplane’s LOV. They’re not even making it to half the MPD inspection limit.


Although Qantas has not had any fatal aircraft incidents… they have been very fortunate when considering the data regarding their long list of malfunctions.


so what!

Buddy Friend

Overall, I feel that Qantas is one of safest airlines to fly with. I have always felt safe, and their professionalism shows throughout the organization. GGGGGd onya, Qantas

Lindsay K

This is just mere carelesnness on the part of the maintenance manager. But Iam happy to note that Qantas is very cautious on Issue of safety. Even with small cracks no chances should be taken and this should be the policy of Airbus and Boeing or any other aircraft manufacturer. People would not be dead had Boeing taken all necessary precautions on its 737 Maxx Aircraft.