Qantas flight from Australia diverts to Fiji

>> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SYDNEY - A QANTAS passenger jet bound for New York made an unscheduled stop in Fiji after it developed a problem with one of its engines, the Australian airline said on Wednesday.

Qantas said flight QF107, a Boeing 747, carrying 375 passengers from Sydney to New York via Los Angeles, touched down in Nadi on Tuesday for repairs to a fuel valve supplying one of its engines.

'Just past Nadi the flight crew got a message to say there was a fault with a fuel valve so they returned to Nadi to correct it... They could have flown on, it was just a precautionary measure,' a Qantas spokesman told AFP. The passengers were given hotel accommodation for the night and the flight continued early Wednesday, she added.

The hitch comes just days after another Qantas Boeing 747, QF11 to Los Angeles, experienced a contained engine failure on the runway of Sydney airport due to a turbine blade defect.

Media reports on that incident said that passengers heard 'a loud bang' and saw black smoke pour from the affected engine, with the captain reportedly telling those on board that the engine had 'cooked itself' over the plane's intercom.

The incidents follow a dramatic few months for the Australian airline which in November temporarily suspended flights of its Airbus A380 superjumbos after an engine on one exploded after taking off from Singapore, damaging the plane. -- AFP

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