A tragedy was averted today when a Qantas 747 from London to Melbourne landed safely after a gash on the side of the plane forced an emergency landing. Read about it here. And see footage shot on a cell phone from inside the plane here. There were over 300 people on board - so kudos to the flight crew for getting everyone to the ground safely. There were no injuries reported, but CNN twice mentions that people vomitted after deplaning. I probably would have, too. Maybe they all ate some bad guacamole.
This story brings back memories of Aloha Airlines 243, which completely disintegrated in mid-air, yet managed to land. Unfortunately, one of the flight attendants died as a result of this disaster. Of course, the other thought that came to mind was the famous (in my mind, anyway) reference to Qantas Airlines in the classic movie "Rain Man." At one point, Charlie (Tom Cruise) and Raymond (Dustin Hoffman - aka Rain Man) have to get to Los Angeles from Cincinnati. Raymond refuses to get on the plane and this conversation ensues:
Charlie: Ray, all airlines have crashed at one time or another, that doesn't mean that they are not safe.
Raymond: QANTAS. QANTAS never crashed.
Raymond: Never crashed.
Charlie: Oh that's gonna do me a lot of good because QANTAS doesn't fly to Los Angeles out of Cincinnati, you have to get to Melbourne! Melbourne, Australia in order to get the plane that flies to Los Angeles!
See it for yourself here - it's a great scene.
It's nice to see that Qantas once again maintained its perfect record.