Qantas flight turns back after propeller stops in mid-air

Helen Coffey
The Qantas Link aircraft landed safely: Wikimedia

A Qantas flight had to turn back not long after departure when passengers spotted one of the propellers had slowed to a halt mid-air.

The regional service from Cairns to Townsville in Australia had to return to Cairns around 20 minutes in due to an “engine issue”.

“We just noticed that [the propeller] started slowing even further, and then obviously the cockpit staff, I believe, must have shut the engine down,” passenger Rodney Hyman told The New Daily.

The captain came on the loudspeaker and announced the aircraft was turning back to Cairns because of the engine issue.

The plane touched down without incident, to the applause of passengers.

Hyman commended the staff, saying: “It was very calm and rational onboard.

“It’s one of the more interesting commutes to work I’ve had.”

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A Qantas spokesperson told The Independent: “One of the engines displayed an oil indication warning and the captain of the aircraft made the decision to return to Cairns.

“The aircraft landed safely and passengers will be re-accommodated on other services today.”

Twin-engine planes are designed to fly safely with just one engine in operation.

It follows a plane coming within one minute of touching down without its landing gear last week.

Vietnam Airlines flight VN781, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne, was on the approach to the airport when air traffic controllers realised the plane’s wheels were still up.

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The crew of the Boeing 787 had to abort the landing when they realised the issue.

Flight tracking data from Flight Aware shows that the plane dipped to 880 feet before climbing rapidly to just under 5,000 feet, when the crew realised the landing gear was still up.

After circling the airport the plane landed safely.

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