Australia’s transport safety leaders have commenced an investigation into what has been described as an ‘extremely rare incident’ on a Qantas Boeing aircraft.

According to a summary on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) website, the 747 aircraft was in the last hour of a flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong on 7 April when a ‘stick shaker’ warning was activated.

The term ‘stick shaker’ is used when the control stick in the cockpit shakes, warning pilots that the aircraft is about to stall, The Australian reported.

ATSB said that following the ‘stick shaker’ activation, the plane also experienced buffeting (random forced vibration) while flying at 22,000-feet.

Qantas 747

The well trained Qantas flight crew was quick to disconnect the aircraft from autopilot, allowing them to manually land in Hong Kong.

“While holding at flight level 220, the flight crew received a stick shaker activation and detected airframe buffeting.”

ATSB

“The flight crew disconnected the autopilot and maneuvered the aircraft in response.”

Some 15 passengers received minor injuries during the incident, which an aviation expert described as ‘extremely rare’.

ATSB said that as part of investigations, it will interview flight crew and gather additional information. A report is expected to be released in a few months.

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