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Rain on Qantas plane turns out to be business class flood

July 4, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’, the theme-song from the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, might have been an appropriate soundtrack for Qantas flight QF94, operated by an A380 Airbus, on Wednesday.

The Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne turned back about an hour into the 14-hour flight after a cascade of water gushed like a river down the aisle into economy from a leaking business class pipe.

Flood on Qantas A380Passengers used blankets to shield themselves from drips. A striking picture doing the rounds shows the aisle looking like a river, or at least a creek.

The airline said the flight’s captain decided to return the A380 to Los Angeles out of concern for passegner comfort rather than any safety concern.

Could such a deeply unusual occurrence affect safety? It depends where the water runs. Water and electricity obviously don’t mix.

Qantas said the water came from the plane’s drinking water supply (rather than from any less pleasant source). It ran from the business class cabin on the upper deck through the roof into the economy cabin below. The trickle-down effect in action, perhaps.

Qantas said crew moved passengers to unaffected areas and gave them extra blankets. Passengers praised the Qantas response. They were put up in hotels overnight while engineers assessed the plane.

One passenger on the plane, US actress Yvette Nicole Brown, said on CNN the flood was “the scariest thing I’ve ever seen”.

“There was a river flowing past us. We are on the upper deck and there are people below us, and … we’ve got a staircase behind us.

“This is over the Pacific, and we have a leak and there is water and there is electricity on board”.

The actress, who was on her way to a comedy gig in Melbourne this weekend, may have just found some airline-related material to use in it. She praised Qantas for “being so good to us and keeping us informed.”

She told CNN: “I want to say this about Qantas, they could not have been nicer to all of us.”

Written by Peter Needham

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