A Qatar Airways flight had to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff after a passenger noted “something hanging from the wing” of the jumbo jet.
Qatar Airways flight QR899 departed Brisbane International Airport en route to Dohar, Qatar, just after 11 p.m. on December 31. The plane climbed to 10,000 on its expected 14-hour flight when a passenger reported they saw something handing off the wing of the 777-300.
“This was my flight. Passengers noticed something white hanging/coming off the right wing.” one passenger wrote in a since-deleted comment. “Pilot came and took a look through passenger windows, shining a torch on the wing.”
After shining a flashlight on the wing, the pilot returned to the cockpit and made the decision to return to Brisbane for an emergency landing. The planed leveled at 10,000 feet and circled the airport, dropping fuel into the ocean prior to landing safely.
A spokesperson for Qatar Airways said in an email message to Paddle Your Own Kanoo that a “technical issue” forced the plane to return to Brisbane.
“Passengers are being assisted by ground services which include providing hotel accommodation before resuming their journey at the earliest opportunity and we apologize for any inconvenience caused,” Qatar Airways said in a statement.
Qatar Airways was sued last year for forced vaginal examinations of female passengers. The five women party to the suit were among 13 women flying from Doha to Sydney, Australia, on Qatar Airways flight QR908 on October 2, 2020, who were escorted without explanation from the plane. Four of the women said they were then locked in an ambulance with a masked woman who conducted non-consensual vaginal examinations. One female was subjected to the examination despite being 52 years old, and another was forced to leave her five-month-old baby on the plane. The fifth woman directed off the plane was 73 years old and legally blind at the time of the incident, although she was not subjected to the vaginal examination. The women allege they were not told the reason for the examinations, which later turned out to be the result of a baby found abandoned at the airport.