Qantas Boeing 737 radio altimeter failure similar to Turkish THY Amsterdam crash

An April 7th incident involving a Qantas Boeing 737-800, registration VH-VYL performing flight QF-1020 from Hobart, to Sydney, in Australia, has raised the spectre of a failing radio altimeter which is suspected of causing the recent fatal crash of the Boeing 737-800 Turkish Airlines flight TK1951 at Amsterdam Schiphol on February 25th.

In very similar circumstances, the Qantas flight was on final approach to runway 16R descending through 150 feet AGL (above ground level), when the right radar altimeter suddenly produced a reading of 60 feet AGL and the Ground Proximity Warning System called 10 feet prompting the autopilot to disconnect and the throttle levers retard to idle.

Unlike the Turkish incident the Qantas flight crew, whose normal practice is to keep one hand on the throttle levers when in auto mode, immediately took over, increased engine thrust and landed safely.

Qantas reported the incident to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau who said they will consult with and assist Dutch crash investigators keeping in mind the similarities of the two incidences.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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