Wake turbulence generated by a Qantas A380 flight pushed another Qantas A380 flight QF94 into a 10-second steep descend over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, 10 June 2018.
The flight QF94 departed Los Angeles Airport on Sunday at 11:28 p.m. PT to Melbourne (Australia). The aircraft was flying at FL310 over Pacific Ocean. Less than two hours into flight, the aircraft encountered wake turbulence from another Qantas A380 flight QF12 from Los Angeles (USA) to Sydney(Australia), which was enroute at FL320.
The flight QF94 took a 10-second steep descend, and the crew recovered it back to the assigned FL320 and continued for safe landing at Melbourne Airport.
According to flight QF94 Captain, the leading aircraft QF-12 at 20nm ahead and 1000 feet above generated the wake turbulence which caused a jolt to the aircraft for 10 seconds with pitch variations of up to 3 degrees.
Passengers have described the incident to local newspaper as “We were all lifted from our seats immediately and we were in a free fall. It was that feeling like when you are at the top of a rollercoaster and you’ve just gone over the edge of the peak and you start heading down.”
Qantas said in a statement on Thursday, “The turbulence lasted for about ten seconds and caused the nose of the aircraft to pitch up slightly. The “plunge” that a few passengers have described was actually the A380 immediately returning itself to a steady state.”