Qantas flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour is forced to turn back

Another Qantas passenger jet is forced to turn back and make an emergency landing after pilots reported mechanical issues – the sixth incident for the airline in just two weeks

  • A Qantas plane flying out of Sydney has been turned back 

A QantasLink flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour has been turned back after experiencing a landing gear problem, following a run of similar issues for the carrier.

About 10 minutes into the flight the pilot asked for clearance to turn around and return to Sydney Airport, landing safely just after 5pm on Sunday. 

Earlier this month, a Qantas plane travelling from Auckland to Sydney issued a mayday after one engine failed over the Tasman. While, just a day later, another flight headed for Fiji had to turn around due to a ‘mechanical issue’, with both planes also arriving safely. 

A QantasLink flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour turned around after 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon due to a landing gear issue (file image)

Qantas domestic chief executive Andrew David previously downplayed the issues, saying the airline averaged only about 60 turnbacks a year out of 10,000 across the industry.

He added there were an estimated 400 to 500 engine shutdowns a year across all narrow body jet aircraft around the world, and Qantas’ shutdown rate on the 737 was ‘well below the industry average’.

‘It’s important to put these things in context. Across aviation, there are diversions and air turn backs happening every day for a range of reasons,’ he said.


Jan 18 – Qantas flight QF144 from Auckland to Sydney last Wednesday was forced to issue a mayday call halfway through the three-hour journey after an engine failed. 

Jan 19 – flight QF101 was forced to turn back to Sydney airport after it suffered a ‘potential mechanical issue’ on its way to Fiji.

The passenger jet was on its way to Nadi Airport at around 9am when it turned around and landed back at Sydney airport just before 11am.

Jan 20 – two Qantas planes were forced to turn around shortly after take-off due to mechanical issues – marking the airline’s fourth diversion in three days.

Jan 24 – Flight QF1608 from Perth to Kalgoorlie in WA was forced to do circles over the capital city due to a ‘mechanical fault’.

The Fokker 100 aircraft took off at 3:50pm and was in the air for just 50 minutes before it made a safe landing at Perth Airport.

Jan 29 – A QantasLink flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour is turned around after a landing gear issue.