Business, Finance & Economics

Qantas A380 with engine trouble diverts


The Qantas Airbus A380 leaves the tarmac on its first flight since a mid-air engine explosion three weeks go on November 27, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Qantas A380 flight 31 from Sydney will head to Singapore before flying to London.


Don Arnold

A Qantas Airways A380 superjumbo en route from Singapore to London was diverted to the United Arab Emirates early Friday after it developed engine trouble, according to reports.

QF31, with 258 passengers, four pilots and 21 cabin crew aboard, suffered "an engine oil defect" in engine number 4, a Qantas spokeswoman said, the BBC reports. 

The plane had been in the air 90 minutes when an oil indicator light came on, the Herald Sun reports, and the plane continued flying for about two-and-a-half hours on the three remaining engines before landing safely at Dubai International Airport.

Qantas and Rolls Royce, with makes the engines for A380 planes, said they identified the problem and rectified it.

Friday's problem comes exactly one year after a mid-air engine blast forced an emergency landing of a Qantas A380 jet in Singapore. 

After the incident, Qantas grounded its entire fleet of A380 aircraft for safety checks.

Several media outlets noted that the British actor Stephen Fry, who had been promoting his TV show "QI" in Australia, was on board the plane. 

Soon after landing, he Fry took to his Twitter account:

"Bugger. Forced to land in Dubai. An engine has decided not to play."

He was also angry that he'd left his wallet on the plane:

"Oh Jesus arsemothering fuck. I've left my wallet on the sodding plane. Hell's teeth this really isn't my day. Will not leave without it.

He later reported:

"Reunited with wallet & cards so v relieved ! Hurrah. Qantas have gone to the trouble & expense of this: which is nice."

Ever the funny man, despite the decidedly unfunny situation.