Quantas blamed for Bangkok plane crash

Failure by Australian airline Qantas to teach pilots how to land on wet runways was the main reason for the crash involving one of its jumbo jets in Bangkok, a report has concluded.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau assessment of the September 1999 incident in which a Qantas Boeing 747 with 410 passengers and crew overshot the runway at Bangkok airport blames the airline, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, which obtained a copy of the report.

Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident, which caused damage amounting to 100 million Australian dollars (£33m).

The report says Qantas introduced new landing procedures to cut operating and maintenance costs without assessing the possible safety risk.

The crew could have avoided the accident if they used the plane’s reverse thrust, but most of the blame lay with Qantas, the country’s largest airline, the report said.

The crew ‘‘were not sufficiently aware of the potential for aquaplaning and of the importance of reverse thrust (of the engines) as a stopping force on water-affected runways. That error was primarily due to the absence of appropriate company procedures and training,’’ the report said.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is also criticised in the report for failing to properly supervise safety regulations at Qantas.

The agency was criticised recently for failing to enforce safety standards after it grounded 10 Boeing 767s of Ansett, Australia’s other main airline.

‘‘In 1998 and 1999, there were serious shortfalls in CASA’s planned product-based surveillance of Qantas flight operations,’’ it said.

The crew also receives some criticism, with the report questioning the first officer’s flying and the decision of the captain not to abort the landing.

It also criticises a decision by the crew not to immediately evacuate the plane.

‘‘The flight crew did not consider all relevant issues,’’ the report said.

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