Qantas pilot shuts down engine in mid-air

2011-10-19 08:11
Sydney - A Qantas pilot was forced to shut down one of his plane's engines midflight on Wednesday after it developed an oil pressure problem, the airline said.

The Dash 8 aircraft carrying 23 people from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, about 600km to the northeast, landed safely around 0300 GMT.

"There was an issue with the engine and the engine was shut down by the pilot," a Qantas spokesperson said, adding that it was an oil pressure problem.

"The engine was shut down in line with standard operating procedures and the aircraft landed at Lord Howe Island without incident a short time later."

Engineers were being flown to the tiny island, which lies between Australia and New Zealand, to assess the aircraft.

Qantas operates 21 twin-engine Bombardier Dash 8 (200/300) aircraft, according to its website.

Last week a Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft crashed in Papua New Guinea, killing 28 people in that country's worst air disaster and prompting Airlines PNG to ground its entire Dash 8 fleet of 12 until further notice.

The Qantas incident comes as the airline is locked in a bitter industrial dispute with several unions, including those representing pilots and engineers, over pay and conditions and its new push towards Asia.

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