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Flying? The safest form of transport!!

Looking around and looking up, just to keep an eye on the world of aviation and report those obscure findings and happenings.

Did laptop cause Qantas plunge?
08 October 2008 @ 19:54

PASSENGERS will be quizzed on whether they were using computers or electronic equipment before a Qantas aircraft plunged hundreds of metres this week.  One has told of how he heard a loud bang followed by the screams and groans of passengers being thrown about the cabin and slammed against the roof as the Airbus went into a steep dive off Western Australia on Tuesday.  Safety officials yesterday began investigating how the aircraft travelling from Singapore to Perth suddenly shot up 300 feet before pitching earthward after signalling to its pilots "irregularities" in its elevator control system.  The possibility passengers using electronic equipment including computers affected the aircraft's navigation system has not been ruled out.

A passenger clicking a wireless mouse mid-flight recently sent a Qantas jumbo jet off course on a three-degree bank, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau report revealed.  "Certainly in our discussions with passengers that is exactly the sort of question we will be asking – 'Were you using a computer?'," an Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said yesterday.  Director of aviation safety investigation Julian Walsh said: "We don't know, and we don't fully understand the dynamics of this event.  "Certainly there was a period of time where the aircraft performed of its own accord."

Up to 40 passengers and crew were injured when the plane was cruising at 37,000 feet about 177km north of Carnarvon.  The injured, including about 20 suffering serious spinal injuries, broken bones or lacerations, were taken to hospital after the pilot sent out a mayday distress call then made an emergency landing at an old military strip at Learmonth about 40km from Exmouth.  SES volunteer Jackie Tapper, 30, was one of the first to start treating the injured passengers on the aircraft, "Inside the plane it was like a tornado had gone off," she said.  "On the ceiling where people had hit their heads there was chunks of hair still there. There were a lot of people bleeding so we had to bandage them."

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