Just days after returning to service from long-term storage, a Qantas Airbus A380 has encountered a series of problems, with one requiring a diversion and overweight landing. The issues concern two consecutive flights. The first was during the July 13th iteration of QF1 while the second took place during the July 14th iteration of QF2.

Flight QF1 to London

The Airbus A380 registered VH-OQI departed Singapore for London Heathrow on July 13th as QF1. As reported by The Aviation Herald, the aircraft encountered problems as it was cruising at FL400 about 60nm east-southeast of Frankfurt.

The crew initiated a descent to FL280 due to the failure of the autopilot system. It was noted that this meant non-compliance with RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) criteria.

flight path to london from singapore
Photo: FlightRadar24.com

The issue was not urgent enough to require a diversion and the A380 continued to London and performed a safe landing approximately 80 minutes later.

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Flight QF2 from London to Singapore

Conducting its turnaround and departing London a mere 20 minutes behind schedule, the same Airbus A380 then encountered another issue.

Flying at FL330 as flight QF2 to Singapore Changi, the jet was flying over central Europe when technical problems were encountered. Whilst flying over the Slovak-Hungarian border, the crew made the decision to turn around and return to London, climbing to FL340. According to passengers speaking with The Aviation Herald, they were informed that the aircraft's navigation system was not working properly.

flight path of qf2
Photo: RadarBox.com

The Aviation Herald also notes that the crew subsequently advised that a heavy-weight landing would be required and that maximum reverse thrust would be engaged. Additionally, the aircraft would require the full length of the runway and would exit the runway at the very last turn-off.

Nearly four hours after first departing London, the aircraft performed a safe landing back at the same airport on runway 27L.

Incidents just days after returning to service

Notably, the pair of incidents come just days after VH-OQI returned to passenger service. The 13-year-old aircraft had been in long-term storage in Victorville (California) from September 20th, 2020 to January 27th, 2023. After leaving Victorville, the jet would spend a month in Los Angeles.

several qantas a380s parked in desert
Photo: Mario Hagen / Shutterstock

As part of the re-activation process, the aircraft was then flown from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi (via London) where it underwent maintenance for several months. Its first official post-pandemic passenger flight took place on July 10th as flight QF1 from Sydney to London via Singapore.

As of March 2023, the airframe has accumulated 44,033 flight hours across 3,823 cycles. ch-aviation.com also reports that the aircraft's estimated market value is $39.13 million.

What do you think of this pair of incidents? Do you think it's connected with an extended time spent in storage and being recently reactivated? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Sources: Planespotters.net, RadarBox.com, The Aviation Herald, FlightRadar24.com, ch-aviation.com

  • Qantas has been flying the Boeing 787-9 from Darwin and Sydney to Delhi, India. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
    Year Founded:
    Alan Joyce