A New Year’s Eve flight from Brisbane to Doha was forced to make an emergency landing after passengers reportedly spotted “something hanging from the wing” shortly after takeoff from the South East Queensland city.
Qatar Airways flight QR899 departed Brisbane International Airport at just after 11 pm on December 31 for what should have been a routine but lengthy 14 hours flight to Doha.
But data provided by popular flight tracking service Flight Radar 24 shows that the pilots of the 14-year-old Boeing 777-300 aircraft stopped climbing at just 10,000 feet and entered 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 aircraft remained at an altitude of 10,000 feet as it circled off the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast before landing right back in Brisbane less than two hours later.
Qatar Airways currently reports that the service is ‘delayed’ but has not yet confirmed when it hopes the flight depart again for Doha. Although Brisbane does not a curfew, the crew are likely to have timed out and will need a rest period before they can legally operate again.
A spokesperson for Qatar Airways said the aircraft returned to Brisbane due to a “technical issue”.
In an emailed statement, the airline said: “QR899 from Brisbane to Doha has returned to BNE where it landed safely following a technical issue.”
“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.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.