Stephen Fry In Mid-Air Drama As London Bound Jumbo Forced To Land After Engine Problems
A UK-bound superjumbo carrying more than 250 passengers was forced to make an unscheduled landing after suffering mid-air engine problems, airline officials said.
It is believed one of the passengers on board the London-bound plane was British actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry. He tweeted: "Bugger. Forced to land in Dubai. An engine has decided not to play."
The Qantas Airbus A380 was four hours into a flight from Singapore to London when oil problems caused the flight crew to shut down one of the plane's four engines.
Flight QF31 was diverted to Dubai and flew with three engines for about two-and-a-half hours before landing safely. None of the 258 passengers or 25 crew were hurt, a Qantas spokeswoman said.
The incident comes a year to the day since the engine of another Qantas A380 blew up over Singapore.
Qantas said the superjumbo had suffered a problem with oil pressure in its number four engine, describing the incident as a "one off".
The airline spokeswoman confirmed it was not the same A380 that was involved in last year's incident, adding that the timing of today's problem was a "coincidence". "Obviously, it will be a priority of ours to work out what the particular problem is in this engine," she added.
The airline said it is working to arrange alternative flights to take the passengers on to London.
Qantas grounded its Airbus fleet for more than a fortnight last year after the mid-air explosion over Singapore, caused by a faulty pipe in the Rolls Royce engines.
Last weekend the airline grounded its entire fleet as a result of an ongoing battle with the unions.