Qantas flights disrupted

2010-04-06 11:34

Sydney - A cracked cockpit window and an engine surge grounded two Qantas planes, while an unruly passenger had to be restrained on a third as a rash of incidents hit the airline, officials said on Tuesday.

Flight crew noticed the crack during a journey from Los Angeles to Melbourne, delaying the return leg by some 15 hours as the window was replaced by ground staff. The flight finally took off early on Tuesday morning.

"Cockpit windows are pretty dense structures so it wasn't really a threat to the safety of the aircraft," a Qantas spokesperson said.

Crew on a flight from Sydney to Singapore were forced to physically restrain a disruptive passenger who, according to media reports, threatened to down the plane with the power of his mind.

A journalist with Australian public broadcaster ABC, who was travelling on the flight, said the passenger appeared delusional and had his arms and legs cuffed.

"A passenger on Qantas flight 31 overnight was behaving in a disruptive manner. He was restrained by the crew and the flight was met by Singapore police on arrival in Singapore," the spokesperson said.

No safety problem, says carrier

Meanwhile, a Qantas Boeing 747 from Bangkok to London returned to the Thai capital after a surge in one of its engines. Some 335 passengers were due to leave on a replacement plane.

A similar problem forced a Qantas flight to be aborted last Tuesday, and a day later an Airbus A380 operated by the carrier damaged tyres on landing in Sydney, showering sparks and flames.

A faulty wing flap and an engine wiring problem have also delayed flights in recent days, but the spokesperson said there was no safety problem at the Australian flag-carrier.

"They've all been different issues so we can't ascribe anything systemic to it. It's just very unfortunate timing," he said.