Two years ago, I blogged about the Qantas flight QF72 traveling from Singapore to Perth which was forced to make an emergency landing at Learmonth air base in Western Australia (about 1,100 kilometers northeast of the state capital Perth) after it unexpectedly and rapidly climbed and then lost altitude. Some passengers and crew were injured, many seriously.
The cause was traced to a problem with the Airbus A330-300 Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU). You can read more about it in depth in the second interim Australian Transport Safety Bureau report or a summary of the incident on Wikipedia.
This week, there were several news reports about at least 76 passengers filing suit against Airbus, and Northrop Grumman, Dupont and Motorola in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, seeking unspecified compensation. The pilots on the flight are also suing.
"The investigation into flight QF72 is ongoing, and any suggestion the factors are known is premature… Airbus is continuing to assist the ATSB in its investigations."
The US statute of limitations for bringing lawsuits against Airbus et co. expires on the 7th of October.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.