Cracks in drip shields similar to those on a Qantas Airways Boeing 747-400 which led to a loss of electrical power earlier this week were found on up to six other aircraft in the carrier’s fleet, according to a published report.

The Australian newspaper says it “understands cracks or other defects were found in as many as six 747 aircraft” in Qantas’ fleet. The carrier says it will not comment in detail while an investigation is taking place but says the drip shield cracks in an unspecified number of aircraft were “immediately repaired and the aircraft have been cleared”.

Qantas carried out inspections of all 30 of its 747-400s following the 7 January incident, in which an aircraft operating a flight from London Heathrow lost electrical power around 15min from Bangkok. The electrical power loss resulted in an emergency backup system being activated before the aircraft landed safely.

The Oneworld alliance carrier now confirms that a drip shield located above the aircraft’s electrical equipment bay was cracked and “water entered the electrical equipment bay, which caused the malfunction of several components”.

It is thought that water had accumulated in the drip tray from a blocked drain in the first class galley.

Qantas is working with Boeing and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau “to determine the root cause of the incident”, in part to find out if the problems that led to the highly unusual and potentially disastrous loss of electrical power are potentially widespread.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news