The cabin crew of a Qantas Airbus A380 have been praised for their handling of an in-flight smoke incident that occurred after a mobile phone was crushed in a seat.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says in its final investigation report that the incident occurred on an A380 registered VH-OQD on 16 May, as the aircraft was around 1,500km west-southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth.

A passenger noticed smoke in the cabin, and alerted the crew who then initiated the basic fire drill procedure. This saw two cabin crew members proceed to the source of the smoke with fire extinguishers, while the cabin service manager made an all-stations call on the interphone alerting all other crew of the presence of smoke.

The smoke was traced to a business class seat on the upper deck. Power to the seat was cut, and the crew dismantled the seat. This revealed that a personal electronic device was wedged tightly in the seat mechanism and had become crushed. The device was assessed as having a lithium-ion battery.

Crushed PED Qantas ATSB


The mobile phone removed from the seat, placed in a jug of water and a metal box, and was monitored for the rest of the flight.

In its safety message, the ATSB said that the incident provided an excellent example of effective response to an emergency situation.

“The crew were able to quickly implement the basic fire drill procedure which defined the roles and responsibilities of the responding crew,” it adds. “This enabled a rapid and coordinated response to the smoke event using all available resources. The effective implementation of this procedure also ensured the flight crew were kept informed as the situation developed.”

Source: Cirium Dashboard