30 Dec 2011

Compensation payments made by Qantas after mid-air crisis

1:31 pm on 30 December 2011

More than 140 passengers who were aboard a Qantas plane that plunged hundreds of feet twice in mid-air over Western Australia, have received out of court compensation payments of up to $A400,000.

The Airbus A330 was flying from Singapore to Perth in October 2008 with 300 passengers on board when it plunged almost 700 feet in 23 seconds near Exmouth in northern WA.

The ABC reports that offers of compensation have been rejected by some passengers who are launching a class action in the United States against Airbus and Northrop Grumman, an aviation technology company.

Qantas has issued a statement stating that a report on the incident found it was a unique event that resulted from faulty software in a flight computer.

It says the pilots operating the flight responded swiftly and appropriately to land the aircraft safely and no blame was attributed to Qantas.

Afterwards, the manufacturers redesigned the flight computer software to prevent the problem recurring.