Qantas pilot sues airline over trauma from engine incident

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Jacinda Cottee, a former QantasLink pilot, filed a lawsuit against the Australian carrier for over $780,000 after a midflight engine failure she experienced led to post-traumatic stress disorder.

On March 10, 2018, Cottee was the first officer on domestic flight QF1799 from Alice Springs (ASP) to Brisbane (BNE), Australia. Shortly before landing, the Boeing 717 suffered an engine failure. The plane was powered by Rolls-Royce BR700

Witnesses on-board reported to local media The Courier-Mail they heard a “loud bang before the plane began to shake.” A passenger claimed they were told to brace, though Qantas refuted that claim. An investigation found damage to the compressor blades of the engine.

Cottee is now seeking $783,811 in damages and costs from QantasLink, after developing post-traumatic stress disorder that put an end to her career. She claims that the incident was due to a breach of safety from the carrier. “QantasLink breached their duty of care by failing to perform proper maintenance on the Boeing 717 aircraft,” her lawyer said in a statement, quoted by The Australian. “Ms. Cottee has been left with a psychological injury, leaving her unable to fly and pursue her dream career.”

Information available online shows that the Boeing 717 registered VH-NXQ entered the Brisbane maintenance facility on March 10, 2018, after performing flight QF1799. It re-entered service on March 22, 2018.

Qantas denied the incident was related to a maintenance issue. “The cause of the engine issue from the flight in March 2018 was investigated and Rolls-Royce determined it was a manufacturing fault and not related to maintenance,” a Qantas spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia. 

AeroTime News reached out to Jacinda Cottee’s lawyer for comment and did not receive any answer at the time of publication.

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