Melbourne, Nov 19(ANI): New details have revealed that the pilots of the ill-fated Qantas A380 flight QF32 were forced to deal with an "unprecedented" number of issues during the two-hour ordeal.
The Airbus A380, bound for Sydney from Singapore, was carrying 433 passengers and 26 crewmembers when it ran into trouble shortly after take-off on November 4.
The double-decker plane was forced to return to Changi Airport after one of its four engines dramatically exploded mid-air over the Indonesian island of Batam.
According to a preliminary report by Airbus, turbine fragments flew out of the plane's engine when it exploded, severing cables in the wing, narrowly missing the fuel tank and taking out flight control systems during the incident.
Reacting over the report, Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) Vice President Richard Woodward said that the "amount of failures is unprecedented."
"There is probably a one in 100 million chance to have all that go wrong. I don't think any crew in the world would have been trained to deal with the amount of different issues this crew faced," News.com.au quoted Woodward, as saying.
Meanwhile, the Federal Secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), Steve Purvanis, emphasised that the passengers were lucky to survive the incident.
"Definitely with fuel gushing out of the fuel tank there and some very hot components, certainly one that was hot enough to explode an engine, they were very lucky that fuel inside the wing didn't ignite," Purvanis said.
"The passengers and crew on board were probably unaware of how serious the situation was. I would say from the pictures that I've seen that they're very lucky to be alive today," he added.
Qantas Airways has already grounded its entire Airbus A380 fleet after the incident.
"We have decided that we will suspend all A380 takeoffs until we are fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32," Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce had said.
"We will suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met," he added. (ANI)