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|Qantas Jet In Mid-air Engine Failure
QANTAS 747-400 jumbo jet carrying 191 passengers was forced to return to Los Angeles International airport yesterday after it suffered engine failure soon after take-off.
QF107, bound for New York's JFK Airport, experienced engine trouble about a quarter of the way into its ascent. The captain shut down the number one port side engine after an apparent turbine failure.
A loud cracking noise, or bang, was heard and some passengers reported seeing a sheet of flame coming from the stricken Rolls-Royce engine.
The plane had landed at LAX from Sydney two hours earlier after making a 13½ hour flight across the Pacific without incident.
Several VIPs were aboard the aircraft, including News Limited chairman Lachlan Murdoch and his wife, supermodel Sarah O'Hare, as well as former Ansett chairman and News Corporation board member Ken Cowley.
Mr Murdoch and Mr Cowley were travelling to New York to attend a News Corporation board meeting today.
Rock star Jon Bon Jovi, the headline act at the recent national Rumba festival, was also on board the plane which was stranded on the tarmac for more than two hours as cargo, baggage and catering supplies were offloaded on to a replacement Qantas jet.
Captain Paul Holland, on his last flight to New York before retiring next week after 35 years as a pilot with the national carrier, said it was the first time in his flying career he had been forced to shut down an engine.
"It is ironic it should happen on my last flight, but we train for this," Captain Holland said.
He said Qantas pilots trained for just such an event during flight simulated drills every three months.
Fire rescue crews were waiting beside the runway but the plane landed without incident before a police motorcade escorted the jet to a remote section of the airport.
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