Qantas flight 72 - Pilot error

Table of Contents


"Qantas Flight 72 (QF72) was a scheduled flight from Singapore Changi Airport to Perth Airport on 7 October 2008 that made an emergency landing at Learmonth airport near the town of Exmouth, Western Australia following an inflight accident featuring a pair of sudden uncommanded pitch-down manoeuvres that resulted in serious injuries to many of the occupants. The injuries included fractures, lacerations and spinal injuries. At Learmonth, the plane was met by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and CareFlight, where 14 people were airlifted to Perth for hospitalisation, with 39 others also attending hospital. Two planes were sent by Qantas to Learmonth to collect the remaining passengers and crew. In all, 1 crew member and 11 passengers suffered serious injuries, while 8 crew and 95 passengers suffered minor injuries. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation found fault with one of the aircraft's Air Data Inertial Reference Units." (Wikipedia, 20112).

According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the most likely cause of the accident was a defect in the Air-Data/Inertia-Refernce Unit (ADIRU) software that is manufactured from Northrop-Grumman. Incorrect data was sent from the ADIRU to other parts of the aircraft system that caused the false stall and overspeed warnings and loss of altitude indication on the primary flight display.

Accident video

(Video embedded from YouTube on 6 October 2011- see WMR Productions & IMG Entertainment, 20111)
1. WMR PRODUCTIONS & IMG ENTERTAINMENT (2011). Aircrash confidential: pilot error. Retrieved from YouTube on 6 October 2011.
2. WIKIPEDIA (2011). Qantas flight 72. Retrieved from Wikipedia on 6 October 2011.
3. SAFECODE QANTAS FLIGHT 72 ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A SOFTWARE BUG. Retrieved from SafeCode on 13 September 2012.

Want to know more?

Qantas flight 72
This Wikipedia page provides more details about this occurrence.

Contributors to this page

Yan XuanYan Xuan

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License