Melbourne Airport - Accidents and Incidents

Accidents and Incidents

  • On 29 May 2003, Qantas Flight 1737 from Melbourne to Launceston Airport was hijacked shortly after takeoff. The hijacker, a passenger named David Robinson, intended to fly the aircraft into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, located in central Tasmania. The flight attendants and passengers successfully subdued and restrained the hijacker, and the aircraft returned to Melbourne.
  • On 21 February 2005, a mystery illness caused the evacuation and closure of what was then the South Terminal. The incident began at 7:10 am when a female collapsed in the terminal building. The terminal was closed at 10:10 am because several individuals exhibited symptoms and were hospitalised. In all, 57 individuals were treated by ambulance officers, 47 of whom were hospitalised. All flights landing at the affected terminal were bused to the Patrick Freight facility and unloaded. The South Terminal reopened at 6 pm. The mystery illness was never determined.
  • On 20 March 2009, Emirates Airline Flight 407, an Airbus A340-500, was taking off from Melbourne Airport on Runway 16 for a flight to Dubai International Airport and failed to become airborne in the normal distance. When the aircraft was nearing the end of the runway, the crew commanded nose-up sharply, causing its tail to scrape along the runway as it became airborne, during which smoke was observed in the cabin. The crew dumped fuel and returned to the airport. The damage caused to the aircraft was considered substantial. The aircraft damaged a strobe light at the end of the runway as well as an antenna on the localiser, which led to the ILS being out of service for some time causing some disruptions to the airport's operation.
  • On 18 May 2011, an anonymous security threat was made against Melbourne and Avalon airports. The threat was delivered as a letter to the Herald Sun and other Melbourne media outlets, prompting state and federal police to "swarm the airport".
  • On 23 May 2012, Air Mauritius Flight 943, an Airbus A340 made an emergency landing in Melbourne Airport after a suspected bomb threat.

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