News Plane incidents — 14 October 2017

A SYDNEY-BOUND plane has had to make an emergency landing at Adelaide Airport after a cockpit warning went off.

The Etihad flight EY450 travelling from Abu Dhabi landed at the airport at 4.50am on Saturday before passengers were told to disembark.

The cause is still unknown but passengers were told the smoke alarm in the cargo area went off and a warning was received in the cockpit.

Passengers were frustrated with the lack of communications, some telling The Advertiser they were not told any information until they had landed.

Margarie Lamb said breakfast was being served onboard when suddenly the pilot announced they were diverting to Adelaide.

“They were pushing the trolleys and rushing down the corridors,” she said.
“We had no idea what was going on…only after we landed we asked an Etihad staff and were told the smoke alarm had went off in the cargo.

Her husband David said they were exhausted after the three-hour ordeal but “rather be going through this than swimming against the tide”.

The Boeing 777 landed on a runway and over 300 passengers disembarked on a taxiway to waiting firetrucks.

Passengers were taken to the terminal via busses while the aircraft was then towed to the gate to undergo safety checks.

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Seven West Media executive, and former adviser to Rupert Murdoch, Bruce McWilliam, who was on the flight, praised the pilot’s landing.

“The landing was effortless but he (the pilot) should have told us what went wrong, or if we should be worried…I’m shocked at the communications,” he said.

Passenger Will Fisher was upset passengers were stranded for three hours with no information when they would depart.

“Hopeless PR by Etihad. We were here for three hours before they told us anything,” he said.

About 8.30pm, Mr Fisher said 30 people were allowed on the plane at a time to get their carry-on baggage.

Then passengers would wait for their checked luggage before they board domestic flights to Sydney.

“Then new flights to be organised,” he said.

“Expecting very long wait … no rep from Etihad here.”

Passengers were given water, chips and blankets but were trapped with no toilets available for three hours.

Passenger Ron Barooah praised Adelaide Airport staff despite being “a little nervous” when the pilot had to make a quick landing.

“We are feeling great that everybody is safe,” he said.

The Etihad passengers cleared customs in Adelaide before the airline arranged domestic flights later on Saturday.

A flight to Kuala Lumpur due to depart at 9.15am faced slight delays because Etihad passengers were occupying the international departure halls.

Malaysia passengers were told to expect long lines before Customs.

Etihad issued a statement that the aircraft landed after “a warning indication received within the cockpit” and it would inspected by engineers and ground crew.

“Etihad Airways apologises for the inconvenience. The safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance.”

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