Qantas plane lands safely after mayday call over Pacific

SYDNEY (AP): A Qantas flight traveling from New Zealand to Sydney landed safely after it issued a mayday call following an engine problem over the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday.

Qantas Flight 144 landed at Sydney Airport from Auckland, New Zealand, after a 3.5-hour flight between the neighboring nations’ most populous cities.

The Boeing 737 experienced an issue with one of its two engines about an hour from Sydney, Qantas told Australian Broadcasting Corp. in a statement.

The mayday, which is issued when a flight is in grave and imminent danger and needs immediate assistance, was downgraded to a PAN-PAN — possible assistance needed — before the flight landed.

Passengers told reporters in Sydney that they were told when they left the plane that an engine had failed.

They described their experience of the engine malfunction as a “slight shudder” and “bumpy-like turbulence.”

Sydney Airport said in a statement that emergency crews were put on standby as a precaution, including firefighters, ambulances and police.

Neil Hanford, chairman of Strategic Aviation Solutions, a Sydney-based industry consultancy, said 737s can fly quickly and land safely on a single engine.