Qantas pilot shuts down engine after 'unsettling' loud bang mid-flight

Passengers flying from Melbourne to Perth had almost reached their destination when the pilot was forced to shut down an engine midair.

Travellers flying from Melbourne to Perth on a Qantas flight on Monday were given an "unsettling" fright midair, with passengers reporting hearing "a loud bang" before the pilot was forced to shut down one of the aircraft's engines.

Flight QF781 left Melbourne's Tullamarine shortly after 8.30pm and was almost at its destination when passengers reported hearing the bang. According to a Qantas spokesperson, the aircraft suffered some sort of engine malfunction.

"A flight from Melbourne to Perth experienced an issue with one of its engines as it approached Perth last night," the spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

A Qantas flight in the air in seen here as the airline announces a mechanical glitch shut down an engine earlier this week.
Qantas is investigating after a mechanical 'issue' forced a pilot to shut down an engine mid-flight. Source: Getty

Pilot 'followed protocol', Qantas says

"The pilots followed the procedures for this type of incident and manually shut down the engine and requested a priority landing. These aircraft are designed to safely operate with one engine.

"The aircraft landed safely and without further incident in Perth."

The spokesperson said they know "this would have been unsettling for customers on board" and "we thank them for their cooperation and understanding."

Australian and International Pilots Association weigh in

The Australian and International Pilots Association President Tony Lucas said the crew "displayed great professionalism" during a suspected engine failure. "QF781 from Melbourne to Perth landed safely in Perth on Monday night after a suspected engine failure on descent," Lucas said.

"These types of incidents are extremely rare but Qantas pilots are very well prepared to manage them safely. The safety of our passengers, crew and cargo is always the priority for any pilot and we rigorously train for these unlikely scenarios.

"The QF781 crew displayed great professionalism, skill and expertise in delivering a safe outcome for everyone. This incident demonstrates that having two well-rested and well-trained pilots on the flight deck is the best safety feature available to aviation.”

Airline to investigate

As per standard procedures for priority landings, emergency services met the aircraft on arrival, though the landing was classified as an emergency, Qantas clarified. All passengers disembarked safely.

Qantas engineers will now examine the plane. QF781 was operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

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