Passengers on a Brisbane to Doha aircraft on New Year’s Eve reportedly saw “something hanging from the wing” shortly after departure from the city in South East Queensland, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
On December 31, just after 11 p.m., Qatar Airways flight QR899 departed Brisbane International Airport for what was supposed to be a routine but lengthy 14-hour flight to Doha.
But according to information from well-known flight tracking service Flight Radar 24, the 14-year-old Boeing 777-300’s pilots stopped climbing at around 10,000 feet and put the plane into a holding pattern off the Gold Coast.
Sources cited by the Flight Emergency account on Twitter claim the flight returned to Brisbane “after passengers noticed something hanging from the wing”. The account claims a “pilot came down the galley to assess and decided to return to Brisbane”.
The plane circled the Coast while maintaining a height of 10,000 feet before arriving back in Brisbane in less than two hours.
Although Qatar Airways now says that the service is “delayed,” it has not yet stated a specific time when it plans to resume the Doha flight. Brisbane does not have a curfew, but the crew has probably run out of time and will need some rest before they can legally operate again.
A spokesperson for Qatar Airways said the aircraft returned to Brisbane due to a “technical issue”.
“QR899 from Brisbane to Doha has returned to BNE where it landed safely following a technical issue,” the airline stated in an email.
“Passengers are being assisted by ground services which includes providing hotel accommodation before resuming their journey at the earliest opportunity and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”