More details on that Qantas flight over the sea off western Australia yesterday in which about three dozen passengers were injured, some seriously.
The plane, an A330 carrying 313 passengers and crew, climbed about 300 feet from its 37,000 feet cruising altitude before "abruptly pitching nose-down," according to the accident report on the Aviation Safety Network. The report says a possible "systems irregularity" combined with sudden turbulence was the likely cause. It isn't clear yet what the "systems irregularity" might have been.
By the way, I just love the quote from an Australian air-transport safety official in the account in today's Wall Street Journal. He says, "certainly, there was a period of time when the aircraft performed of its own accord."
Uh, here on planet earth, that means "fell."
A plane that abruptly pitches nose-down has a remarkable ability to concentrate the attention.
Here's a detailed report in the Australian, a newspaper, with comment from passengers who literally hit the ceiling.