A second Qantas plane has been forced to turn around just minutes after taking off due to mechanical issues, marking the airline’s fourth mid-air diversion in three days.
Flight QF1516 from Melbourne to Canberra was forced to turn back after pilots noticed an issue with the flaps of the Boeing 717 aircraft.
The plane took off from Melbourne Airport at 10:10am and was in the sky for just 17 minutes before it circled back and landed at 10:27am.
It came just minutes after after the pilots of flight QF430 from Melbourne to Sydney were alerted to a ‘minor engine issue’ and turned the plane around.
The Boeing 737 took off from Tullamarine Airport at 9.28am before completing a large loop and returning just 50 minutes later at 10.18am.
A Qantas spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that customers on both of the diverted planes would be booked on other flights over the following hours.
‘The aircraft landed normally – this was not an emergency or priority landing. Both engines remained operational throughout the flight,’ they said about the first flight.
It comes immediately after Qantas flight QF144 from Auckland to Sydney was forced to issue a mid-air mayday call halfway through the three-hour journey on Wednesday.
Then on Thursday, flight QF101 was forced to turn back to Sydney airport after it suffered a ‘potential mechanical issue’ on its way to Fiji.
Flight QF1516 from Melbourne to Canberra was forced to turn back after pilots noticed an issue with the flaps of the Boeing 717 aircraft (pictured is the aircraft’s route on Friday morning)
It comes after Qantas flight QF144 (pictured) from Auckland to Sydney was forced to issue a mid-air mayday call halfway through the three-hour journey on Wednesday
Passengers on Wednesday’s flight from Auckland have since revealed they heard a loud bang as the left engine failed mid-air.
However, the majority were blissfully unaware of the issue until they landed at Sydney airport and were met by a flurry of reporters.
The first travellers to alight the plane said they were not told the 747-800 had suffered engine failure, simply that there was some sort of issue after the loud bang.
Passenger Simone Schmidt told the media: ‘We were told nothing had happened, they were totally professional and we only found out when we got back on land.
‘I heard just a bang and maybe a slight shudder but that was it. We had no idea at the time, we didn’t realise the whole engine had gone, we just heard a bang.’
Her husband Colin added: ‘There were a few gasps when they told us when we were back on the runway but by then we had already landed.
‘Even then they told us that it had been a slight malfunction.’
A packed Qantas plane travelling from Melbourne to Sydney has been forced to turn around mid-flight just days after another aircraft issued a mayday call
The Boeing 737 took off from Tullamarine Airport at 9:28am before completing a large loop and returning just 50 minutes later at 10:18am (pictured, a Boeing 737 at Sydney Airport)
Georgia, left, said: ‘You wouldn’t have known anything was going on really.’ Meanwhile, an English woman (right) praised the passengers on-board the flight, as well as the crew for their calmness
Layla (pictured) said she thought she heard something but wasn’t sure. Passengers leaving the flight said they had been unaware of what had happened.
Another woman named Georgia said: ‘You wouldn’t have known anything was going on really. We had no clue of anything that had happened, it was good.’
A passenger named Layla added: ‘A lot of people said they noticed something and I thought I heard something but not recognisable.’
An English woman praised the passengers on-board the flight, as well as the crew.
‘It just went quiet, everybody was well behaved, everybody did what they had to do,’ she said.
One male passenger said: ‘The fire engines were there and the pilot said ‘oh we’ve got to park because we have an engine problem’ and then when it was inspected he said ‘oh no the engine has actually failed’,
‘When they said we could turn on our phones I turned on my phone and had 18 missed calls from my wife saying ‘have you landed?’, ‘have you landed?’
Concerned emergency services watch on shortly before the flight landed safely at Sydney
QF144 lands in Sydney after suffering engine issues mid-flight, sparking a mayday call
After its safe landing, Qantas said the mayday had been downgraded to a ‘possible assistance needed’.
A statement read: ‘Qantas Flight 144, a 737 flying from Auckland to Sydney, experienced an issue with one of its engines about an hour from its destination.
‘While a mayday was initially issued, this was downgraded to a PAN. The aircraft landed safely at around 3.30pm and is now being inspected by our engineers.’
A mayday call is issued when a flight is in grave and imminent danger and needs immediate assistance, according to Airservices Australia.
Once the call is issued controllers alert aviation rescue, firefighting and emergency services with details on how to respond. They also provide assistance to pilots.
Just a day later, a Qantas flight from Sydney to Fiji was forced to turn back after it suffered a potential mechanical issue mid-flight.
Flight tracking showed the plane doing loops before it made its way back to Sydney
Pilots of QF101 received a fault indicator and had to land back in Sydney, with engineers now examining the Boeing 737
An on-board indicator warned of the fault with the plane landing in Sydney shortly before 11am, with engineers later examining the Boeing 737 on the ground.
Flight tracking showed the plane doing loops off the coast before it made its way back to Sydney.
The flight was on its way to Nadi Airport at around 9am when it turned around and landed back at Sydney airport, just before 11am.
‘The pilots followed standard procedures and the aircraft has landed normally in Sydney,’ a Qantas spokesperson said.
‘Engineers will examine the aircraft. We thank customers for their patience and we are working to get them on their way to Fiji as quickly as possible.’