Qantas A380 ‘Turbulence’ Leaves Seven People Injured

Experts Call For Investigation Following In-Flight Problems

10.01.2012

Aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have called on Qantas to conduct a thorough investigation after seven people were injured when a Qantas A380 flight from London to Singapore was reportedly affected by severe turbulence over Indian airspace.

Four people were taken to hospital upon arrival at the destination following the incident, which a spokesman confirmed had left those affected with bruising. Around 450 passengers were believed to be on the flight.

News of the incident has come just days after safety concerns were raised over cracks found on the wings of the airline’s fleet of A380s. The company and Singapore Airlines both stated that the issue posed no risk to passengers.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team act for those who have suffered injury in air accidents in the UK and abroad, as well as the families of those killed in such incidents.

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and partner at the firm’s London office, said: “In-flight turbulence can cause serious injuries and structural damage or failure to the aircraft.  Problems can be particularly severe if unexpected, meaning that many of the passengers may not be strapped in, resulting in them being thrown around the cabin causing them and others injury.

“It is concerning that state of the art airliners continue to experience these types of incidents. We have acted in a number of similar cases involving both Airbus and Boeing aircraft – Qantas flight QF72 in 2008 involved an airbus A330 where there was a fault with the fly by wire system, the Air France A330 tragedy in 2009 also involved an Airbus A330 that lost control due to bad weather coupled with issues relating to its airspeed measurement probes, and the United Airlines Boeing 777 that rapidly lost height when it entered severe clear air turbulence in May 2010. 

“The results of these previous incidents ranged from passenger injury to catastrophic aircraft loss, which reinforces the fact that the risks and consequences of in flight turbulence/ temporary loss of control cannot be underestimated.

“We urge Qantas to thoroughly investigate this to determine why the aircraft flew into bad weather and to rule out any problems with the weather radar or fly-by-wire/ autopilot system that may have contributed to the incident.

“Any lessons that can be learned will go some way towards boosting standards of flight safety, not just in relation to Qantas but also across the aviation industry as a whole.”