Pilot Sues For Stress After Plane Loses An Engine, Lands Safely

A first officer for QantasLink carrier Cobham Aviation is suing Qantas after an engine on a Boeing 717 failed causing her stress.

She is seeking AU$700,000 (US$541,660) in damages, claiming the Australian flag carrier failed to properly maintain the aircraft. Qantas for its part blames the engine manufacturer and said no big deal handling irregular flight conditions is literally what pilots are for otherwise they’d just have computers flying planes.

Cottee was operating the QantasLink flight QF1799 from Alice Springs to Brisbane on 10 March 2018 when the Rolls-Royce engine failed about 550 kilometres from its destination… witnesses heard a “loud bang” and the plane began to shake.

“One passenger claimed they were told to brace, and were sending goodbye messages to loved ones, while the crew briefed one man on how to operate the emergency door on the aircraft,” read the report. “Passengers cheered on the Qantas crew after the landing.”

The pilots didn’t even make an emergency landing or divert, arriving in Brisbane as-scheduled.

(HT: The Travel Insider)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Airline pilots are generally well compensated because they require the training, experience and judgement to deal with incidents like this. If this particular pilot suffers PTSD from what is a well-practiced event (in both initial training and routinely in the simulator) perhaps another line of work may be more suitable.

  2. I couldn’t agree with Mike more. That’s flying, it happens. Gee, I wonder if they thought they were actually in the US?

  3. I can see passengers suing Qantas, but for one of the pilots to do so is ridiculous.

    The said, there might be an exception if the pilot (First Officer) has clear proof that substandard maintenance was performed by the airline on the aircraft’s engines, especially over an extended period of time. In that case, it would really more of a whistleblower lawsuit, and one might wonder why this First Officer didn’t report such concerns and provide this evidence to Qantas and its regulatory authorities earlier.

    Otherwise, having the professional skills to safely land aircraft involved in such incidents is precisely why airlines hire pilots (and two of them) to fly each aircraft in the first place.

  4. Aircraft are designed to fly on one engine and pilots are trained for this. Notice that she was not even the primary pilot actually flying the plane. She needs a psych evaluation.

  5. One good thing will likely come out of this. A person who should not be flying passengers in a commercial aircraft will probably never do so again.

  6. Aircraft are not designed to fly on one engine. They are designed to not be fatal in the case of one engine. Mental health is very poorly understood and unfairly stigmatized and we should not make denigrating comments in this regard.

  7. @ P Ness. Don’t be a dick . . . all twin engine aircraft are “designed” to fly on one engine. There is even such a procedure called ETOPS when there are no close and suitable airports. (BTW, evidently Gary missed it)

  8. What a unmitigated idiot! I would seriously question he mental capacity to drive a car, let Alaine an airplane with passengers on it. So much for justification of airline pilot speak about making the money they do because of the enormous “responsibly” for the safety of their passengers. She is just doing her job! Don’t know how the Aussies treat this, but she and any nitwit in the US who sued would probably get a ridiculous settlement from some bleeding heart jury or insurance company who didn’t want to hassle her.

  9. I have been a passenger (not a pilot) on two occasions when engines failed. One of them was a twin engine turboprop. I was a little shook up, but I am not collecting a salary for flying a plane under dangerous conditions (the only conditions where you need a pilot at all). I didn’t sue anybody. The planes were landed in both cases with no drama and no diversion.

Comments are closed.