On Thursday, sixty-four passengers and crew on a QantasLink Dash 8-400 service into Brisbane got a scare during a full-scale emergency landing. With the pilots flagging a “potential issue” with the landing gear, emergency vehicles waited at Brisbane Airport, and cabin crew instructed passengers to “stay down” and “brace now.”
Cockpit alert regarding issues with QantasLink Dash 8’s landing gear
The QantasLink Dash 8-400 was operating QF2420. That flight is the breakfast time flight between Newcastle’s Williamtown Airport and the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Normally, it’s a pleasant 611-kilometer flight up the New South Wales coast. On Thursday’s flight, the pilots received an indication in the cockpit about a potential issue with the landing gear.
According to The Aviation Herald, the plane was at 1,800 feet mean sea level and tracking into Brisbane’s runway 19L when the cockpit alert came up, causing the go-around.
The Dash 8 went out to circle Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands for around one hour while the pilots worked on the problem. The pilots attempted a manual gear extension, but the manual extension did not stop the cockpit alert.
“The pilots followed standard procedures and required checklists for this type of event,” a Qantaslink spokesperson said.
Passengers warned to “brace” and “stay down”
The pilots were unable to confirm the landing gear was locked down. They decided to shut down the second engine and began an ILS approach into Brisbane Airport’s runway 19R. Brisbane Airport scrambled its emergency response vehicles.
As the flight made its final approach into Brisbane Airport over Moreton Bay, footage posted online reveals the flight attendant repeatedly instructing the passengers to “brace, brace” and “heads down” and “stay down.”
“We were reasonably certain the landing gear was down and locked – we could do that visually, and in other ways, the procedure to be followed has to be followed,” QantasLink CEO John Gissing later told Brisbane’s Channel 9 News. “And that’s exactly what we did.”
“Our engineers have inspected the aircraft and identified that the alert in the cockpit was due to a faulty sensor, and the landing gear was operating normally through the flight.”
Footage posted online by passengers showed a smooth touchdown, the landing gear securely locked in, and a cabin full of very relieved passengers and crew.
“I was getting a bit concerned at the end,” one passenger said when safely collecting his bags in Brisbane’s terminal.
“Brace! Brace! Stay down!”#WATCH: The moment a Qantas flight from #Newcastle was forced to make an emergency landing in Brisbane Airport this morning, leaving passengers to brace in the safety position. #9News pic.twitter.com/ePFPhj1hRW
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) May 13, 2021
QantasLink and passengers praise the crew
QantasLink calls the incident a false alarm. However the airline admits it would have raised blood pressure levels in the cabin. QantasLink apologized for the concern caused and thanked passengers for their co-operation.
Both passengers and QantasLink praised the pilots and flight attendants for handling a very stressful situation well.
“They did a great job handling the situation and were able to call on the extensive training they receive,” Mr Gissing said.
“We’re all here, it’s all good, the Captain did a good job,” one laidback and safely landed Queenslander said.
VH-QON operated Thursday’s QF2420 flight. The Dash 8-400 is 12.9 years old and operated for Qantas by subsidiary company Sunstate Airlines. It is one of 48 Dash 8s flying for QantasLink. As you’d expect from an airline with an exemplary safety record, this is the first recorded issue concerning the plane.
VH-QON remains on the ground while Qantas engineers conduct a full safety and maintenance inspection.