QF171 diversion MEL-WLG, landing in OHA | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

QF171 diversion MEL-WLG, landing in OHA

love_the_life

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
4,668
Flights
My Map

drron

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
20,393
Also noted the photo of an FA with snacks and liquid refreshments in one of the pictures.
 

juddles

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
4,717
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
The QF 737 flight from Melbourne to Wellington appears to have sufferred some sort of "stuck flap" problem and was diverted to the Kiwi airforce base of Ohakea.


As is usual these days, the pax were not grateful for being saved from an airborne problem - nor were they happy that the crew were able to land at the airforce base even though the other alternate (Palmerston) was unachievable due to bad weather. rather they appear to be simply uptight that they have sufferred a few hours delay.

Poor souls, I cannot imagine the horror of being stuck in a "warm" aircraft (after all New Zealand is known for its intensely tropical climate) for a few hours. This must have really scarred the pax!

Imagine the starvation issues after that extreme long haul flight across the Tasman!!

Foregive me, I am certain these people felt they sufferred. I would simply have been ecstatic at being able to add a truly unusual flight to my history :)
 

juddles

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
4,717
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
Further research reveals they must have truly endured agony - the temperatures soared (no doubt due to Global Warming) to almost 20 degrees. And they had to endure almost 6 hours between meals. Imagine the pain......
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,431
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
the temperatures soared (no doubt due to Global Warming) to almost 20 degrees.
You now a metal tube, with no ventilation, gets hotter inside than the ambient temperature?

And you know a typical pax manifest includes people other than fit and healthy X-year old males, including maybe the elderly, families with young kids etc?

Just ask'n ;) :)
 

robtemt

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
457
Flights
My Map
I read the tweets written by the "distressed" passenger, who appears to be healthy, fit, young, and obviously had a full battery since he was able to complain about everything. He was also surprised at the number of people who took up the offer of tea and coffee. Does he mean the rational people who appreciated the situation and just made the best of it, and were thankful that their safety was the number one priority?

I bet he didn't shut his yap the entire time they were on the ground. Did he expect to just be let off a plan on a military base with no immigration? Did he expect them to just open a door with no stairs or way of keeping some clueless unaware traveller (like himself) from taking a tarmac dive?

Then his tweet about an eta to get off the plane sent by QF via SMS was "disinformation". Yes, Im sure that QF operations wanted to deceive you, and have a regular plan that they implement all the time for landing at Ohakea. Miscommunication? Yes, but live with it.

I'd be more interested in hearing about the suffering of the people who sat within earshot of the a$*hat tweet warrior who was the primary source of the article.

Ugh.
 

drron

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
20,393
Though in most reports one of the doors at the front was indeed open.
 

Spongbob

Active Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
681
I was once on a BA plane at LHR for over 6 hours because a cargo door could not be closed ("hatch problem" we were told), and take-off was delayed.
Reading about the people of the QF171 flight only reminds of the horrors one must experience in such situation.
PTSD easily follows such ordeals, especially if there is no WiFi.
 
Last edited:

samh004

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
18,016
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
When I was onboard a QF 388 that turned around a couple years ago I was understanding, perhaps more so than this guy. Safety first and all. However, reading some of his later tweets I do think Qantas after-care has again let themselves down. By the time they got to Wellington they should have had staff waiting and willing to provide assistance, but his tweets suggest there wasn't a single QF rep there. This actually mirrors my experience returning to LHR a couple years ago, it was a disorganised mess despite the fact I would have imagined they knew we were coming for hours before we landed (I think we turned around over the Black Sea).

All in all not a great couple days leading into their 100th year, following their 99th birthday.
 

Bundy Bear

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,223
Flights
My Map
Ohakea is probably not the best place to land, it might have been closer to Wellington but more of a pain to organise, probably would have been better to go to Auckland.
 

Franky

Active Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
998
Flights
My Map
All that said, and I haven't read any of the tweets and bleats, being on any 737 for the 3.5 hr flight, followed by another 4 hours sitting on the deck, is my idea of pain and torture.
 

jb747

Senior Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,612
Flights
My Map
Ohakea is probably not the best place to land, it might have been closer to Wellington but more of a pain to organise, probably would have been better to go to Auckland.
I expect the pilots were well aware that Auckland and Christchurch are much nicer places to divert to. What considerations, do you think, might have forced them to divert to an RNZAF base?
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,431
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I expect the pilots were well aware that Auckland and Christchurch are much nicer places to divert to. What considerations, do you think, might have forced them to divert to an RNZAF base?
What are the implications and dangers of a 'stuck flap' that necessitates a diversion to closest airport?
 

jb747

Senior Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,612
Flights
My Map
What are the implications and dangers of a 'stuck flap' that necessitates a diversion to closest airport?
In the most likely scenario, the flaps are not physically stuck, but rather have been deactivated by the detection of some degree of asymmetry. It can happen on either extension or retraction.

Your maximum speed is very limited. If the flaps tripped when selected from 20 to 30, you'd be limited to the flap 30 extension limit.

Drag is increased.

Maximum altitude is FL200.

FMC fuel predictions are unreliable.

Approach speed will be higher than normal. The one time it happened to me (in a 767), the increase was 40 knots.

You will need the longest runway you can find (or the biggest headwind). Both would be good. Palmerston is almost 2,000' shorter than Ohakea.

Diversion fuel is not based upon odd configurations. If the aircraft had diversion fuel for Auckland, it would not have been enough in this configuration.

The ability of the airport to handle the passengers, or even the aircraft itself, is not a consideration.
 

juddles

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
4,717
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
What are the implications and dangers of a 'stuck flap' that necessitates a diversion to closest airport?
RooFlyer, I looked at the flight track and they actually went past Wellington - so the diversion was not to "closest" airport. I think the diversion was due to the pilot seeking a longer runway. I don't know what wind strength and direction was around both air strips, but a quick check on Google shows Wellington has a 2080m running 16/34, and Ohakea has 2450m running 09/27.
 

jb747

Senior Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,612
Flights
My Map
RooFlyer, I looked at the flight track and they actually went past Wellington - so the diversion was not to "closest" airport. I think the diversion was due to the pilot seeking a longer runway. I don't know what wind strength and direction was around both air strips, but a quick check on Google shows Wellington has a 2080m running 16/34, and Ohakea has 2450m running 09/27.
Not so much past Wellington, but rather right over the top. He's actually flown most of the approach. I see a couple of ways of looking at that. Perhaps he's continued the approach in the hope that the system might fix itself, which is not unknown. Alternatively, it's happened early enough that they've done the checklist actions and actually looked at the landing, before deciding against it. My bet would be the first. Once he goes around, he's pretty much committed, but he may as well give the approach as much chance as possible.

Ohakea is the closest runway of any length.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
19,505
Did he expect them to just open a door with no stairs or way of keeping some clueless unaware traveller (like himself) from taking a tarmac dive?
i would have thought that aircraft might have been equipped with some sort of barrier straps which could be used exactly for this purpose. Here's a couple of examples:


I remember them being used in the old days when you'd stop in the middle of no where for refueling at Duabi or Bahrain and they'd open a door or two for some air.

Poor souls, I cannot imagine the horror of being stuck in a "warm" aircraft (after all New Zealand is known for its intensely tropical climate) for a few hours. This must have really scarred the pax!
I have some sympathy. I was stuck for over four hours on a flight landing in JFK during a snow storm and we couldn't get to the terminal. i read somewhere once that every minute you're 'on hold' to a call centre feels like the equivalent of 6 minutes... and it can be a bit the same on a plane. Good communication isn't always enough to get over that frustration.

I have no issue about the diversion, or the safety issue. These things can happen. But I also feel airlines should compensate for this, along the lines of EU261.
 

AFF on Air Podcast

  • British Airways Executive Club – AIR025
    Sat, 30 Nov 2019 22:53:26 AEDT
      Many Australians join Qantas Frequent Flyer by default. But even if you fly with Qantas regularly, you could benefit by using the British Airways Executive Club frequent f ...
  • Married Segments & More – AIR024
    Sat, 16 Nov 2019 04:32:20 AEDT
      Airlines seem to love married segments, but for frequent flyers and travel agents they can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes you'll find an award seat on a flight you w ...
  • HARS (Historic Aircraft Restoration Society) – AIR023
    Sat, 02 Nov 2019 13:24:03 AEDT
      The Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) boasts a collection of over 60 aircraft, including a retired Qantas 747, Super Constellation and DC-3s. John Travolta's Bo ...
  • “Hidden City” Court Case – AIR022
    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:30:46 AEDT
      Earlier this year, German airline Lufthansa tried to sue a passenger that exploited the loophole of hidden-city ticketing by skipping the last flight on their ticket. This ...
  • Summer in Europe – AIR021
    Sat, 05 Oct 2019 17:28:53 AEST
      Qantas and Virgin Australia are fighting over two rare and lucrative new landing slots for Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Meanwhile, four European airlines have gone bankrupt in ...

Community Statistics

Threads
83,928
Messages
1,953,449
Members
51,383
Latest member
MJP1961
Top