The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating a serious mid-air incident on a Qantas flight to Hong Kong that left 15 passengers with minor injuries.
The drama unfolded about 110km southeast of Hong Kong last Friday after flight QF29 took off from Melbourne.
The “stick-shaker” device causes the aircraft’s control stick to vibrate noisily to warn the pilot of an imminent stall. It takes a physical, rather than visual, form so the crew will be alerted even if they are not looking at the panel.
Qantas has also begun an internal review into the incident.
The airline said customers experienced “unexpected in-flight turbulence” on the Boeing 747.
“We notified the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) of the occurrence, and our own teams are also reviewing the event,” a spokeswoman said.
The ATSB said the flight crew had to disconnect the autopilot and manoeuvre the aircraft after the warning. It classified the incident as serious.
According to Boeing it takes a physical, rather than visual, form so that crew members will be alerted even if they are not looking at the panel at the time.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau classified the Boeing 747’s incident as serious and said a report would be released “within several months” after it interviewed the flight crew.
“The flight crew disconnected the autopilot and manoeuvred the aircraft in response,” it said.
“Fifteen passengers received minor injuries.”
An ambulance met passengers as a precaution and one person was taken to hospital for assessment.
“We notified the ATSB of the occurrence, and our own teams are also reviewing the event,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.