Qantas pilots suspended after cockpit fight

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iol travel june 6 Qantas REUTERS Qantas said the flight was delayed by severe weather, not because of any altercation.

Sydney - Australia's Qantas Airways said it had suspended two pilots after they were reportedly involved in a heated argument in the cockpit of their Boeing 747 at Dallas airport.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the captain and second officer on the 747-400 due to make a long-haul flight to Brisbane last week were told they could not fly after disagreeing about the take-off calculations they needed to use.

“A captain and second officer have been withheld from service pending an investigation,” a Qantas spokeswoman told AFP, without providing further details.

But Qantas said the flight was delayed by severe weather, not because of any altercation.

“Qantas flight QF8 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Brisbane on 14 August was delayed overnight as a result of severe thunderstorms in the Dallas area,” the spokeswoman said.

The flight subsequently left on August 15, reportedly after replacement pilots were brought in.

The Herald said the original pilots were close to hitting their 20-hour duty limits because of earlier weather delays, and that Qantas managers heard of their argument after bringing in the relief crew.

The incident comes just weeks after a Qantas pilot was suspended pending an investigation after she failed an alcohol test.

The pilot was removed from a passenger flight due to travel from Sydney to Brisbane just minutes before take-off over concerns she had been drinking.

Qantas has a strong reputation for safety, with the Australian flag-carrier never experiencing a fatal crash in the jet age. - Sapa-AFP

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