The flight was forced to return to Brisbane “after passengers noticed something hanging from the wing.”
Passengers on a Qatar Airways flight from Brisbane to Doha on New Year’s Eve reportedly saw “something hanging from the wing” shortly after takeoff from the city in South East Queensland, forcing the airplane to make an emergency landing.
On December 31, just after 11pm, 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 renowned flight tracking service Flight Radar 24, the Boeing 777-300’s pilots stopped flying at just 10,000 feet and put the plane into a holding pattern off the Gold Coast.
The flight was forced to return to Brisbane, according to information cited by the Flight Emergency Twitter account “after passengers noticed something hanging from the wing.”
A “pilot came down the galley to assess and decided to return to Brisbane,” according to the account.
The plane circled the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast while maintaining a height of 10,000 feet before landing back in Brisbane in less than two hours.
Although Qatar Airways currently reports that the service is “delayed,” it has not yet stated a specific time when it hopes to resume the Doha flight. Brisbane does not have a curfew, but the crew will likely need some downtime before they can legally operate again.
According to a Qatar Airways spokesperson, there was a “technical issue” that caused the plane to return to Brisbane, reported Australian media.
“QR899 from Brisbane to Doha has returned to BNE where it landed safely following a technical issue,” the airline stated in an email to the media.
“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.”
A Qatar Airways Airbus A350 flight from Doha to Jakarta had to perform a diversion just three days prior to this incident because of an unidentified technical problem.
The aircraft was unable to continue on to Jakarta after making a safe divert to Mumbai.
By sending a replacement plane to the airport of divergence, the airline was able to transport the stranded passengers to their destination.