Investigation Begins After Qantas Pilots Declare ‘Mayday’ Due to Low Fuel Concerns
Priority landing at Perth
Qantas pilots were forced to declare a 'mayday' for a priority landing at Perth airport on Monday.
The transcontinental flight from Brisbane to Perth, was reportedly running low on fuel while placed in a mid-air queue with other planes near Perth.
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The Qantas Boeing 737 allegedly arrived within Perth airspace with an extra 20 minutes’ worth of fuel when they were informed by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to expect their holding period to be extended to 16 minutes.
The pilot then called a rare “fuel mayday on descent” issuing priority to land without incident.
“During descent, the crew declared an emergency due to the amount of fuel on board and proceeded to land at Perth. The aircraft landed with reserves intact,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed.
Qantas Chief Pilot Dick Tobiano said the aircraft was told to remain a holding pattern for longer than the QF933 pilots had previously been advised, and in order to gain priority to land they needed to make a fuel mayday call.
"Based on the pre-flight conditions, our pilots loaded fuel in accordance with CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) requirements and Qantas’ fuel policy," he told The Guardian.
"On approach into Perth, Air Traffic Control requested the aircraft hold for longer than our pilots had previously been advised, and that to be given priority to land our pilots needed to make a fuel mayday call.
"The aircraft landed with 40 minutes of fuel in the tank, which is well above the minimum requirements," he said. "Our pilots followed the correct procedures and there was no safety issue with the flight."
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident.
“However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken,” the ATSB said.
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