During an emergency landing at Sydney Airport on Sunday, Qantas passengers onboard a QantasLink Dash 8 texted heartfelt notes to family and friends as they were repeatedly advised to “brace.”
On Sunday night, while flying from Sydney to Tamworth, the pilots detected a failure in the plane’s hydraulic system, which had drained part of the hydraulic fluid – a critical requirement for functioning the aircraft’s controls and brakes.
The flight crew decided to abort the landing at roughly 5000 feet and return to Sydney as the plane approached Tamworth.
The Daily Telegraph said that passengers on board the flight were repeatedly advised to “brace” for landing and that the pilots warned them that there was a possibility the plane may over-run the runway.
The pilots were notified to a possible issue with the hydraulics systems, according to a Qantas representative, and “followed the standard procedures” before landing safely in Sydney.
“Passengers were informed that the aircraft may need to be towed to the gate after landing due to the hydraulic issue. At no point was the aircraft at risk of not landing on the runway,” they added.
“We understand this would have been a very unsettling experience for our passengers and sincerely thank them for their co-operation throughout the flight.”
Passengers onboard began texting “final messages” to loved ones as they worried the outcome of the landing, according to one passenger, as cabin service ordered them to “brace, brace, brace.”
The plane landed safely and “rolled to a standstill,” according to passengers, before being quickly met by emergency crews.
Passengers were permitted to disembark within 15 minutes of arrival and were accommodated on Monday morning flights to Tamworth.
After 44 hours on the ground, Qantas engineers inspected the Dash 8, and it was returned to service.