The really interesting mishap that befell one of three Virgin Australia 737s from yesterday to today occurred at Darwin when one of them encountered gusty wind conditions and veered off the runway.
Keep in mind the distinct possibility that good piloting in wild weather may well have turned a dangerous situation into just a case of minor damage to the jet.
How a jet is handled in abnormal conditions can be the difference between a scrape and a smash. The ATSB will no doubt find out, and possibly even put it into plain English, in the investigation it announced earlier today.
The two 737s that kissed on the tarmac at Hobart airport today are believed to be the subject of a ‘desk audit’ by the ATSB, which means it was an incident considered less worthy of the safety investigator’s cost cutting limited resources.
Runway collisions also come with the risks of turning into a disaster if fuel lines are ruptured and there is a fire. This one didn’t come close, apparently.
Virgin Australia said the contact was ‘light’ and there was no risk to safety, so maybe neither had any fuel on board at the time. The desk audit will no doubt reveal all, including the steps the airline had already undoubtedly undertaken to heed previous ATSB advice to all airlines to be observant and careful when moving jets around airports.
However for such a hip, laid back operation as Virgin Australia, the language the airline used might also be revised. Instead of the usual stuff about ‘no risk to safety’, which is certainty true in hindsight, how about “We are really annoyed, and will kick butts.”
Product differentiation is, after all, vital to an airline that doesn’t want to just be another Qantas.
The post Virgin dings three 737s in two days, but it could have been worse appeared first on Plane Talking.
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