This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A pair of Qantas pilots had a harrowing experience after their aircraft suddenly depressurized mid-flight, causing a pilot to become incapacitated, forcing an emergency landing.

A Qantas Boeing 737-300 freighter was flying from Brisbane (BNE) to Melbourne (MEL) on Wednesday when the pilots received a “wing body overheat warning,” resulting in a sudden depressurization of the aircraft.

“The crew donned oxygen and descended to 20,000 ft,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) wrote in its report of the incident. “The First Officer was subsequently incapacitated and the Captain descended to 8,000 ft and diverted the aircraft to Canberra.”

The aircraft, registered VH-XMO is operated by Express Freighters Australia, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Qantas. As it was a cargo flight, there were no passengers on board.

The aircraft made its way to an altitude of 8,000 ft, which is standard operating procedure, since that elevation contains more oxygen, making it easier to breathe.

FlightRadar24 shows the diversion made over the eastern Australian town of Narranderaa, a little more than halfway through its scheduled flight path. Emergency services were on the ground when the aircraft made an emergency landing at Canberra (CBR) airport at 12:04am. The aircraft did not receive any damage during the event.

“The Boeing 737 freighter diverted into Canberra on Wednesday night following a fault with the on-board air conditioning system that affected the ability to maintain pressure in the cabin,” a Qantas spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Other problems that may cause depressurization include cracks in the window or fuselage and a poorly sealed door.

Although neither were injured, the pilots went to the hospital as a precaution, but were quickly discharged the spokeswoman said. Qantas is conducting its own investigation into the incident alongside the ATSB’s own investigation.

“As part of the investigation, the ATSB will collect and examine information on the aircraft’s flight data recorders and interview maintenance and flight crew,” the ATSB said. “Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.”

This summer has seen a number of incidents of faulty air conditioning systems on aircraft leading to extreme cabin temperatures — with some events leading to passengers passing out on board.

Featured image of a 767 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.