Qantas flight forced to turn back just moments after takeoff

A Qantas flight has been forced to land just moments after taking off because of an “engineering issue”.

Sydney-bound Flight QF642 carrying 224 passengers left Perth just after 9.30am on Thursday but was soon diverted back to the airport.

A spokesman for the airline told Yahoo News Australia the aircraft “returned to Perth due to an engineering issue”.

“Reports that it was an emergency landing are incorrect, however emergency services attended as a precaution,” he said. 

The plane's flight radar shows it circled in the air before returning to Perth. Source: Flightradar

Smoke was reportedly seen coming from the plane as it landed, according to Perth Now.

Tony Pignata, the chief executive officer of the Perth Glory Football Club, was on the aircraft at the time.

He said the problem was an issue with the plane’s landing gear.

“Well that wasn’t pleasant having to circle for a bit and land back in Perth after the landing gear failed to retract. Well done to the Qantas captain and crew in getting us safely back on the ground and keeping us informed. Ah the joys of flying,” he wrote on Twitter. 

“Captain did an amazing job. Perfect landing,” he later added.

The Qantas spokesman later confirmed “the aircraft had an issue with one of its three hydraulic systems, which meant the landing gear was unable to retract”.

Engineers are currently inspecting the plane.

“We working to get customers to Sydney as quickly as possible and apologise for the disruption,” the spokesman said.

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