On January 20, Qantas flight QF430 to Sydney was forced to return to Melbourne due to engine problems. The plane took off at 09:41 local time for a flight that usually takes just over an hour.
After being in the air, the pilot reportedly received an indication of a “minor engine problem”.
As a precaution, it was decided to return to Melbourne. The plane landed normally — it was not an emergency or priority landing. Both engines remained serviceable throughout the flight.
The aircraft involved in the incident, — one of Qantas' many Boeing 737s. He is almost 20 years old and was brought to Qantas Park in May 2003. Over the years, the airliner has accumulated almost 53,000 hours in 28,051 flight cycles.
The airline's fleet today has 125 aircraft, of which 111 are in active service. Among them are 75 Boeing 737–800.
This is Qantas' third aviation incident in recent days.
On January 18, flight QF144 between Auckland and Sydney issued a distress call while over the Tasman Sea. The reason is the same — engine trouble.
Passengers reported hearing strange noises while the aircraft was in flight. About halfway across the Tasman Sea a slight vibration was noticed, then — a loud bang and a sinking feeling. After that, the crew informed the travelers that their plane had a “minor malfunction.” As a result, the aircraft made a safe landing at Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport.
Then, on January 19, another Qantas 737 flying from Sydney to Nadi International Airport in Fiji was forced to turn around after a malfunction indicator light came on. Faced with a potential mechanical problem, the plane then spent two hours circling north of Sydney to burn fuel before returning to Australia's busiest airport.