Qantas Airways plane returns to Johannesburg after striking birds

42379.jpegA Qantas Airways Ltd. plane bound for Sydney returned to Johannesburg after striking birds, the Australian carrier's fifth report of a turned-around flight in the past two weeks.

The Boeing Co. 747 with 171 passengers landed to Johannesburg on Nov. 16, about 80 minutes after takeoff, Thomas Woodward, a spokesman for the Sydney-based carrier, said today. The same aircraft had to turn back a day earlier during a flight from Sydney to Buenos Aires, he said, BusinessWeek reports.

Aviation officials have identified an oil leak near a turbine as the flaw which caused a fire and the engine failure, and Qantas's six A380s - the world's largest passenger plane - remain grounded while the airline carries out checks and repairs. The other carriers using Trent 900s on their A380s, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, have returned their planes to service.

Four Qantas flights have turned back to port since the A380 incident because of various faults and problems. The airline says none of them were as serious as the superjumbo problem, and the turnarounds were in line with Qantas's routine safety procedures, The Press Association reports.


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