The uncontrolled dive of a Qantas A330-300, reported here last week, wasn’t caused by a passenger’s laptop computer, after all, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau statement.
It actually was brought on by a glitch in the Airbus flight control computer, the ATSB reported on Oct. 14.
The Airbus was at 37,000 feet, flying from Singapore to Perth, when the Inertial Reference System malfunctioned, the ATSB report said. That caused the autopilot to disconnect, but the system continued to feed false data to the flight control computers, commanding a nose-down maneuver.
The crew recovered control quickly, but not before at least 70 passengers were injured, some seriously.
Airbus told the ATSB it knows of no similar malfunction. The ATSB said its investigation is continuing, with a Preliminary Factual Report to be released within a month.