A Quantas Airlines Boeing 747-400 had to make an emergency landing in Manila after a huge piece tore off mid flight from the bottom part of the front fuselage. Passengers heard a loud bang from the fusalge some time into the flight to Melbourne, Australia. Quanatas is known for it's outstanding safety record and hasn't lost a plane since 1951. At the time of the incident the plane was cruising at 29,000 feet, then descended rapidly to 10,000 as the oxygen masks dropped. Shortly thereafter the Quantas 747 made a landing in Manila in the Philippines. Quantas was experiencing problems with their employees who have been demanding higher pay and going on strikes. So it seems logical to assume that aircraft service quality has been diminished due to this situation. There have been a few other similar cases when pieces of the fuselage have torn off. One that comes to my mind first is Hawaiian flight Aloha 243 (second photo) when a huge piece torn off the top part of the fuselage leaving the passenger exposed to the the outside atmosphere at full cruising speed. The investigators in the Aloha 243 case have found that the incident was caused by metal fatigue. Metal fatigue is cause from multiple depressurizations and the constant change in temperature between cruising at altitude and being on the ground. The Aloha case was also similar in the fact that Aloha Airlines was also experiencing the same kind of aircraft service degradation that Quantas is currently facing. So if I had to make a hypothesis then i would prematurely conclude that in the case of Quantas, the plane has also suffered from metal fatigue. Now the NTSB or ATSB rather, must find the cause of this problem as fast as possible in order to prevent a future catastrophe. No airline should gamble with the safety of their passengers. Especially with a huge plane like the 747-400 which is capable of carrying more than 400 passengers (depending on the model of course but roughly 400). I will keep you posted in the results of the ATSB investigation. But for now I am gonna go out a limb and say SHAME ON YOU QUANTAS! Stop gambling with our lives and get your shit together. Don't muck up the 747's safety record with your newly found incompetence. (Although if I am wrong (which i dont think I am) then I will apologize for badmouthing Quantas, whom by the way again, haven't lost an aircraft since 1951)
By the way, here some footage from the inside of the plane shortly after it was rocked by the loud bang.



  1. As a former flight crew member and retired Boeing employee, I am deeply disturbed that the Quantas crew began using the service carts in the aisles after experiencing an emergency rapid decompression and with oxygen mask deployed.
    What the Hell were they thinking? They had no idea how bad the aircraft was damaged or if they were going to need to make an emergency landing. They should have been busy getting the cabin prepared for a possible emergency landing or evacuation if needed. If this is an example of Quantas attitude toward safety, it is surprising they have not had a major catastrohy. I certainly hope air safety officials look into this.
    I don't wish tragedy on anyone but the action of the crew on this plane as depicted in the videos is unconscionable.

  2. ...deeply disturbed...service carts in the aisles...?

    Why is that a problem? The airplane is flying fine, they're down to 10,000 ft where supplemental oxygen is not needed, they have a significant time before landing, if everyone was dying of thirst Quantas would have been lambasted for inattention to the passenger's comfort. Resuming service probably provided a huge psychological boost for the passengers..."You're in little danger, everything's not ok, but it will be soon...like a soda?" If an emergency landing had been necessary, it would have taken awhile to get down to the water, and the cart could have been stowed. If the airplane was going to break up in flight, an unrestrained cart wouldn't have made a difference. Quantas' attitude toward safety is fabulous...no one was hurt were they? In their entire history. The Quantas crew did fine, including the cabin crew. Lets just recognize pros who did their job exceedingly well.

  3. You both bring up good points. But on the issue of service carts I would have to take finklefarb's side. It's probably procedure for a reason. I certainly wouldn't mind waiting for some juice, instead of having a service cart fly into my face in a possible crash landing. That's probably happened at some point in time therefore now they must be stowed. Although with that said I'm sure some of those people on board could have used a beer. If I was on board I would certainly have one in that situation.

  4. Thank you Alexx. Anonymous, your comments represent someone who is clueless about aviation safety. The fact is this: The crew had no way of knowing how much structural damage the aircraft had suffered. They did not know if more of the cabin wall was going to fail or if an engine had ingested some of the material that had been ejected from the plane resulting in power problems.
    I will stack my 13 years of airline flying as a crew member and 18 years with the Boeing company against your apparent meager knowledge of aviation safety. There is a saying in aviation that goes: The most worthless things to an aircrew are the runway behind them and the altitude above them. It makes no difference if they were at 10,000 feet or 100 feet. The are still flying and as such could have been at risk to further damage. This is an aircraft sir, it is not a vehicle that you can pull to the side of the road and talk it over. At Boeing, every employee spoke of the knowledge of this fact and took the care to be sure they built a safe product. In addition, the crew did not know if they have been the victims of a bomb and if there were more bombs. Like others I am delighted that the aircraft was landed safely. But the cabin crew sure as heck did not prepare the passengers in case of a crash landing or further damage to the aircraft. I have graduated from safety training sir. I have lived through several emergencies in my career and I tell you that service in the form of food and beverages is not on the checklist for emergencies.
    It is true that Quantas has a good safety record, but we dont live on our past performances in aviation, it is, "What are you doing now." So, if lives were lost, would you still boast of the safety record of Quantas? No one would care at that point. The families and loved ones of the passengers would be impacted and want answers not some sloganeering about past records.
    The worst thing you can do in the aviation business is live with your head mounted pointing to the rear.
    There are emergency procedures and they are rehearsed before every flight. Crew members have to go to, "refresher" training to be certain they have not developed any bad habits or forgotten what to do. You don't have time after an emergency, particularly an explosive decompression as it was described by Austrailian authorities, to stop and think, hmmm, what should we do? No, you react as you were trained because now your real reason for being on that plane comes to the front of your mind. That is the safety of the passengers. Not even your own safety as a crew member comes first.
    The crew had absoulutly no way of knowing, everything wil be, "OK...soon."
    You have got to be kidding because as an aviation expert there is no reaity to your comments.
    The prime reason the flight attendants are on the plane, by law, is for passenger safety, no service.
    If you doubt me, check with the FAA. The FAA even requires a specific number of attendant per passenger load. When a plane is certified for service. The airline has to evacuate a full load of passengers using only half the doors in approx 60- 90 seconds. There is no test by the FAA for the pouring of juice. You amaze me.
    Good day.