3 Jul 2014

Leak forces plane to turn back

1:11 pm on 3 July 2014

A Qantas plane has had to turn back to Los Angeles after a water pipe burst, sending water flowing through the aisles of the aircraft.

The flight to Melbourne returned to Los Angeles about an hour after take off as water leaked into the cabin of the Airbus A380.

Qantas says there were no safety or flight concerns with the leak and the captain decided to turn back in the interests of passenger comfort.

The airline said passengers were moved to "unaffected areas" of the plane and given blankets to stay dry.

"Crew on board did everything they could to help customers," Qantas said in a statement.

The airline said it was discussing the problem with Airbus.

The Aircraft Engineers Association's Stephen Purvinas told the ABC it was a serious safety breach.

"If it had have leaked down onto the electronic components it could have brought the thing down," he said.

However, Qantas spokesman Andrew McGuiness said passenger safety was not at risk.

"All critical systems on an aircraft are very well protected so that was never an issue," he said.

Qantas said it had provided passengers with accommodation while engineers fixed the plane in Los Angeles.