Qantas crew left ‘gasping for air’ in scary mayday incident, aviation safety report reveals

A Qantas captain and co-pilot were left temporarily “incapacitated” and “gasping for air” during a terrifying mayday incident three years ago, a new aviation safety report has revealed.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau report released on Thursday shed disturbing details about an Express Freighters Australia aircraft, which was travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne on August 15, 2018.

The crew donned oxygen masks when a caution light flickered, and the aircraft started an emergency descent.

But during the initial part of the descent, the captain of the Qantas Boeing 737-376 was left “temporarily incapacitated” and “gagging and gasping for breath” by a reaction to the increased supply of breathing oxygen from the mask, according to the report.

A mayday was then declared by the co-pilot, also known as the first officer, and the aircraft started a diversion to Canberra Airport.

“The first officer, cognisant that they had previously discussed feeling unwell, observed the captain slumped forward, gagging and gasping for air,” the ATSB said.

“The first officer recalled checking on the captain during this episode but not receiving a response.”

After the captain recovered, the first officer then suffered “incapacitating symptoms consistent with hyperventilation”.

Qantas crew left ‘gasping for air’ in scary mayday incident, aviation safety report reveals

Camera IconA Qantas captain and co-pilot were left temporarily “incapacitated” during a flight in 2018, a new aviation safety report has revealed. NCA NewsWire/Sarah Matray Credit: News Corp Australia

The captain radio called air traffic control, requesting the attendance of emergency services upon arrival at Canberra where the aircraft landed safely.

The report noted that at “no point” were both pilots incapacitated at the same time.

The investigation identified intermittent flickering of the master caution light and overheat annunciator were likely due to an electrical fault in the right wing-body overheat detection system.

“During the descent, the captain selected emergency flow on the oxygen mask resulting in an ingestion of gaseous oxygen, causing their temporary incapacitation,” the report read.

“The operating flight crew conducted the appropriate non-normal checklist, however the overheat indication could not be rectified due to the fault in the wing-body overheat detection system,” the report read.

“An additional fault with an isolation valve in the aircraft pressurisation system prevented isolation of the right wing-body pressure duct.

“This led the crew to conduct further troubleshooting during which the cabin air supply was reduced.

“In conjunction with a higher than normal cabin leak rate, the reduced airflow also lessened the cabin pressure.”

Qantas crew left ‘gasping for air’ in scary mayday incident, aviation safety report reveals

Camera IconAccording to the report, Qantas advised ATSB it incorporated maintenance changes to avoid similar incidents in the future. NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett Credit: News Corp Australia

After landing, both the captain and first officer were transported to hospital via ambulance for medical assessment.

Post‑occurrence medical testing and assessments did not identify lasting effects from the flight.

During inspections after the incident, Qantas engineers identified “a range of serviceability issues” with the aircraft fuselage cabin drain valves, fuselage door seal, and the auxiliary power unit duct bellow seal that affected the capacity for the aircraft to hold cabin pressure.

According to the report, Qantas advised ATSB it incorporated maintenance changes to avoid similar incidents in the future.

In a statement to NCA NewsWire a Qantas spokesperson said: “After this incident occurred back in 2018, we updated our policy on how pilots troubleshoot technical issues during flights to avoid these actions inadvertently causing other consequences as occurred in this incident.

“While these freighter aircraft were maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ requirements, we have since put in place additional checks to the maintenance program.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Top Things To Do In Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia’s Pitons getty Geothermal activity, dramatic mountain views, dense rainforests, volcanic sand beaches and multi-hued coral reefs allure travelers to the island of Saint Lucia, located in the West ... Read more »

Are You In The Shrinking Global Middle Class?

A new tool can calculate your standing in the world. getty For anyone who has sometimes wondered just how well off they are compared to everyone else in the world, ... Read more »

No Vax, No Service: Here's Where Bars And Restaurants Across U.S. Are Requiring Proof Of Vaccination

Road tripping in the US? Don’t leave home without your vaccination card. getty Road tripping through the U.S.? Don’t leave home without your CDC vaccination card. In just the past ... Read more »

Architects Help Ensure A Stress-Free Travel Experience

Innovative designs by creative architects can reduce stress. CallisonRTKL Is it possible to travel stress-free these days? Considering the uncertainty that still looms large throughout the world, it may be ... Read more »

The Stunning Norse-Inspired English Church Of Balestrand, Norway

St. Olaf’s Church is an eye-catching landmark in the village of Balestrand in Norway. getty At first glance, St. Olaf’s Church in the idyllic Sognefjord village of Balestrand looks like ... Read more »

Alaska Airlines' biggest sale of the year starts today with $99 flights to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines is offering $89 flights to Mexico and $99 flights to Hawaii as part of its biggest sale of the year. The three-day sale started today and runs until ... Read more »

JetBlue Launches New York To London Service August 11 Despite Lingering Pandemic

First Airbus A321LR delivered to Jetblue for transatlantic flights to begin August 11,2021. Airbus You have to give JetBlue some credit for sticking to its plans. Despite a summer airline ... Read more »

GO NZ: Top tips for a West Auckland winter weekend

It’s still Auckland but proudly moves to its own beat, writes Alexia Santamaria The area where West and North Auckland converge is a glorious eclectic mix of art, wine, good ... Read more »

New York Luxury Brand NoMad Launches First European Hotel In London Police Station

Magistrates Court, now a Ballroom at NoMad, London Sydell Group Chic hotel brand NoMad has launched its first property outside of the United States in London in the historic, grade ... Read more »

Travel trouble Tuesday: American, Spirit cancel hundreds of flights for third consecutive day

American Airlines and Spirit Airlines have canceled nearly 600 Tuesday flights, the third consecutive day of major travel trouble for the airlines’ passengers. American, which is still struggling to recover ... Read more »

Night Train Service Expands In Europe

A photo taken on May 24, 2021 shows a Nightjet train waiting for departure during the media event … [+] ‘Start for the new Nightjet to Amsterdam’ by the Austrian ... Read more »

Puerto Rico cautiously welcomes first cruise since COVID-19, Carnival's biggest ship yet

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Carnival Mardi Gras docked Tuesday in Puerto Rico — the first time a cruise ship has visited the U.S. territory since the pandemic began. ... Read more »

Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of law, AG report finds

ALBANY, NY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal laws as well as the executive chamber’s own written policies, according to a long-anticipated ... Read more »

In Photos: 75 Years Of Scandinavian Airline SAS

A crew portrait in front of Sverre Viking DC-6 in 1955. SAS 75 years ago this year, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) completed its inaugural intercontinental flight from Stockholm to New ... Read more »

On Washington's Coast, Seabrook Aims To Be The Perfect Beach Town

Seabrook’s recipe for coastal living: Incorporate the best elements of small-town life and let the … [+] endorphins flow. Seabrook Close your eyes for a minute and picture your ideal ... Read more »

Trolltunga: Iconic Norway Rock To Host Weddings

Norway’s Trolltunga (the Troll’s Tongue) rock formation attracts thousands of hikers every summer. getty A Danish couple are to become the first people to get married at one of Norway’s ... Read more »

Cap Rocat Mallorca - Sustainable Luxury In A Historic Location

Cap Rocat Mallorca is a place where history resonates. As a former military fort, it takes full advantage of its elevated position in a secluded yet strategic location on a ... Read more »

20 Best Bird Photos Of The Year: A Peek At Audubon's Top 100 Winners

A fuzzy, mottled Black-necked Stilt chick stands beneath its mother, which has a white underbelly … [+] and stabilizes the fuzzy chick with one long pink leg.. San Joaquin Wildlife ... Read more »

60% Of Unvaccinated Americans Blame Travelers For The Covid Surge

Six in 10 unvaccinated Americans think travelers are responsible for the current surge in Covid cases. getty One of the most interesting takeaways from the latest Ipsos survey is who ... Read more »

Inside Christian Dior's Château De La Colle Noire - The By Invitation Only Gem In Provence, France

Maison Christian Dior has completed a loving and respectful restoration of founder Christian Dior’s former residence – the Château de La Colle Noire and I have been fortunate to experience ... Read more »

'We can accidentally love our parks to death': How to protect crowded national parks

America’s most popular national parks are seeing a record number of visitors, and that’s a problem. “We can accidentally love our parks to death,” Sen. Angus King of Maine, chair ... Read more »

The Luxury Travel Essentials You Didn't Know You Needed

A luxury trip calls for luxury essentials getty From scented mask spray from Japan to a pro-level suitcase just for your makeup, these are the must-have travel essentials for your ... Read more »

This Design-Forward Catskills Hideaway Is The Antidote To New York City Living

Piaule Catskill Sean Davidson As more urbanites venture beyond the confines of their high-rise apartments and buzzing city blocks, Hudson Valley—with its open acreage and tree-lined terrain—presents an attractive opportunity ... Read more »

Inside The (Surprising) Historic Building Home To The NoMad's First International Location

NoMad London Atrium ©simonupton Originally a courthouse, police station, and jail (with occupants including Oscar Wilde, the Kray Twins, Vivienne Westwood, and more) for over 266 years, London’s former Bow ... Read more »

These gorgeous gardens across the U.S. are ready to transport you to faraway lands

Big and small alike, public gardens can be naturally transformative, offering a close-to-the-earth, soulful respite to workaday life. These gardens feature more than just the familiar sensory delights; they also ... Read more »

On the sesh in Herefordshire with the ultimate food and drink tour

Lemore Estate dates back to 1640 (Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire) Numerous studies from across the globe have revealed that many of us are carrying extra pounds since the start of ... Read more »

The best spa hotels in the UK for a relaxing staycation

South Lodge in Horsham, West Sussex (South Lodge) Relaxing spa hotel staycations will soon be back on the travel agenda when properties open from 17 May in England, although confusingly, ... Read more »

What are UK hotels doing behind the scenes to tackle coronavirus?

Hotels are taking extra measures to keep guests safe (Getty) “I keep telling them to shout about what they’re doing, because lots of them aren’t right now,” says Jane Pendlebury, ... Read more »

The most extraordinary new hotels opening in 2021

Kruger Shalati on the Selati Bridge (Kruger Shalati) We can all agree that 2020 has been an awful year that we can’t wait to see the back of. For travel, ... Read more »

The best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds for all tastes and styles

Asphodel Cottage (Airbnb/Asphodel Cottage) Is there anywhere that feels quite as quintessentially English as the Cotswolds? With its patchwork of thatched cottages, charming churches and sleepy villages, this is famously ... Read more »

The best all-American experiences

The ultimate way to see Sin City: from a chopper (Maverick Helicopter) Planning a bucket list-worthy American holiday? Although it looks like the US-UK travel corridor won’t be opening this ... Read more »

How cruises will change after coronavirus

Cruising will change in many ways post-Covid (Getty Images) The multibillion pound cruise industry, which normally carries 30 million people a year on the world’s oceans and rivers, has been ... Read more »

11 Irish towns you need to visit that aren't Dublin or Belfast

Views over Galway City (Getty Images/iStockphoto) When visiting Ireland, on the hunt for history, scenery and, of course, “the craic”, people usually head for the two capitals: Belfast and Dublin. ... Read more »

Swimmers asked to stop bathing naked at a beach on Norway's Glomma River

Some local residents aren’t too happy with the skinny dipping. Others say being naked is natural and good for self-esteem. Bathers from all over the district and beyond come to ... Read more »

Explore Vancouver Island, Canada With Magnolia Hotel & Spa's Flavour Trails

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has an incredible array of food, wine and activity trails RoamTravelPR-0950, Magnolia Hotel & Spa Now that Canada has started to ease travel restrictions and opened ... Read more »

Into Africa—The Return Of Safari…Now What To Wear?

From South Africa’s Kruger National Park to the Eden of Botswana’s Okavango Delta to the vast plains of the Serengeti, travelers are ditching lockdowns and are, instead, choosing to socially ... Read more »

These small historic restaurants serve the classics – and their communities

Historic sites aren’t limited to battlefields or stately homes. Sometimes, they can be as surprising as a sushi bar. A new grant program sponsored by the National Trust for Historic ... Read more »

10 great historic restaurants: Ben's Chili Bowl, Neir's Tavern

Historic sites aren’t limited to battlefields or stately homes. Sometimes, they can be as surprising as a sushi bar. A new grant program sponsored by the National Trust for Historic ... Read more »

How to Write a Review on TripAdvisor

This wikiHow teaches you how to review a location on TripAdvisor. You can do this on both the TripAdvisor website and the TripAdvisor mobile app. Steps Method 1 of 2: ... Read more »

How to Write While Traveling

Writing while traveling can be either a professional or personal pursuit. Some people travel and write as part of their jobs, while others simply want to make the most out ... Read more »