Qantas Airways Boeing plane issues mayday call after engine fails with a ‘bang,’ lands safely

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A Qantas Airways plane has managed to land safely in Australia on a single engine Wednesday after it issued a mayday call while flying over the Pacific Ocean. 

Qantas Flight 144, a Boeing 737-838 carrying 145 passengers, “experienced an issue” with one of its two engines when it was an hour away from Sydney, the airline said in a statement to The Associated Press. The plane had departed from Auckland, New Zealand. 

“Thank God we are here. We thank the captain profusely for his professionalism. Thank the Lord,” a passenger told reporters that had gathered at Sydney Airport following the plane’s arrival. 

One passenger reported hearing a “bang” mid-air before the plane landed. 

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A Qantas jet is parked on the tarmac next to firetrucks at Sydney International Airport after making an emergency landing in Sydney, on Wednesday, Jan. 18. (Jeremy Ng/AAP Image via AP / AP Images)

“We didn’t realize it was actually the whole engine had gone, we just heard a bang and that was it,” she said. 

Qantas said the pilot shut down the troubled engine, but did not specify the problem. 

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The mayday call that came from the plane, which is issued when a flight is in grave and imminent danger and needs immediate assistance, was downgraded to a PAN-PAN — possible assistance needed — before the flight landed, the Associated Press reported. 

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Qantas Flight 144 passengers walk off plane

Passengers embrace their loved ones after getting off Qantas Flight 144 following its arrival in Sydney, Australia. (APTN/AuBC / AP Images)

“While inflight engine shutdowns are rare, and would naturally be concerning for passengers, our pilots are trained to manage them safely and aircraft are designed to fly for an extended period on one engine,” Qantas said. 

Other passengers described their experience of the engine malfunction as a “slight shudder” and “bumpy-like turbulence.”  

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Qantas plane issues mayday call, lands safely

Qantas Flight 144 is seen landing in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, Jan. 18 following the engine malfunction. (Reuters / Reuters Photos)

Sydney Airport said emergency crews were put on standby as a precaution, including firefighters, ambulances and police. 

FOX Business has reached out to Qantas Airlines and Boeing for further comment. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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