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Qantas jet makes emergency landing in Sydney

Qantas: Third high-profile emergency landing in eight days  Aug 04, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's aviation agency launched a review of Qantas Airways' safety standards Sunday after a Manila-bound jetliner spraying hydraulic fuel made the airline's third high-profile emergency landing in eight days.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority announced the review after a Boeing 767 with 200 passengers on board returned to Sydney airport soon after takeoff Saturday because air traffic controllers saw fluid streaming from a wing.

"We have no evidence to suggest there are problems within Qantas, but we think it's prudent and wise to go in with a new special team and take an additional look at a range of operational issues within Qantas," Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said Sunday.

On July 25, an explosion on board a Qantas Boeing 747 en route from London to Australia blew a hole in the fuselage and caused rapid decompression in the passenger cabin. The jet landed safely in Manila despite damaged navigational instruments.

Last Tuesday, an Australian domestic flight was forced to return to the southern city of Adelaide after a wheel bay door failed to close.

Qantas head of engineering David Cox welcomed the CASA review, which will take place over the next two weeks, and said the airline's maintenance and safety procedures remain first class.

"We have no issue with this latest review and CASA says it has no evidence to suggest that safety standards at Qantas have fallen," Cox said in a statement.

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said Monday there was no pattern behind the three malfunctions and that his airline is "probably the safest" in the world.

"We do know we have no systemic problem in this company," he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Still, he said the Australian flagship airline's reputation was suffering. "It is our job to make sure we get that reputation back," he said.

Qantas: Third high-profile emergency landing in eight days

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