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Qantas jet turns back after hydraulic leak

Latest update : 2008-08-02

A Qantas 767 flying from Sydney to Manila was forced to return to Sydney after the pilot detected a hydraulic leak in the wing. This comes less than two weeks after another Qantas plane was forced to land after a blast.

A Qantas 767 was forced to return to Sydney shortly after take off Saturday when the pilot detected a hydraulic leak in the wing, in the airline's third mid-air safety scare in just over a week.

Qantas denied reports the jet made an emergency landing but said fire engines were on standby on the tarmac as a precaution.

The Manila-bound flight with 200 passengers on board landed at Sydney Airport about 3:00pm after the problem was detected, a Qantas spokeswoman told AFP.

"It landed without incident after the captain became aware that the aircraft had a hydraulic leak," she said.

"It was not an emergency landing."

She said the passengers were never in any danger and had since left for Manila on a replacement aircraft.

Several Australian news organisations said the incident involved an emergency landing, but the Qantas spokeswoman said reports the pilot requested a priority landing in Sydney were incorrect.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority's Peter Gibson said air traffic controllers on the ground in Sydney initially spotted the problem.

"Air traffic control noticed what they thought was smoke coming from the back of the aircraft," he told Channel Nine television.

"What it turned out to be was a hydraulic leak of hydraulic fluid coming out of the hydraulic system creating a fine spray at the back of the aircraft that looked like smoke."

On July 25, a Qantas Boeing 747-400 en route to Melbourne from Hong Kong made an emergency landing in Manila after a blast believed to have been caused by an exploding oxygen cylinder ripped a large hole in its fuselage.

Then last Monday, a Qantas 737-800 was forced to return to Adelaide after a landing gear door failed to retract.

Date created : 2008-08-02