Qantas to Undergo Safety Review

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Qantas has long enjoyed a reputation as just about the safest airline on Earth -- it launched in 1920 and its last fatal accident was in 1945 -- but a string of three in-flight emergencies in eight days has prompted Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority to conduct a safety review. "There have been a number of incidents recently and it's important that we go in and double check and make sure that all the standards have been maintained," said CASA spokesman Peter Gibson. Six CASA staffers will work for the next two weeks to review every aspect of the airline's safety and maintenance practices. On Saturday, a Qantas 767 made an emergency landing at Sydney airport after the crew discovered a hydraulic fluid leak. Last Tuesday, a 737-800 flight crew returned to Adelaide after a wheel-bay door failed to close. And on July 25, a mid-air explosion tore a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas 747, the crew made a safe emergency landing in Manila. "We have no evidence to suggest there are problems within Qantas," Gibson said, "but we think it's prudent and wise to go in with a new special team and take an additional look at a range of operational issues within Qantas. We'll be making sure that everything's operating as it should."

Qantas head of engineering David Cox said in a statement that the airline has "no issue" with the review, and added that "CASA says it has no evidence to suggest that safety standards at Qantas have fallen."