In September 1999, Qantas had one of their most serious runway incidents ever. Flight QF1, operated by a Boeing 747, VH-OJH, over-ran the runway at Bangkok Airport. These images show the aftermath of the crash, along with the painstaking task of repairing the aircraft.
After the crash — Showing damage to the nose and engine.
The construction of a temporary road had to be completed, before the plane could be pulled from the site.
The arrival of replacement parts arrive on this AN-124.
The lower front fuselage is delivered. Notice the stencil marking “AOGTOOL.” AOG means “Aircraft On Ground,” which refers to an aircraft not currently operable.
All scrap parts were collected and documented. The parts were then removed from Thailand for disposal, due to customs laws.
The tail is jacked to prevent the aircraft tipping over backwards. When parts from the front structure are removed, its center of gravity changes.
Installation of the tower jack is pretty simple. Pop out a few windows, the interior and attach the jack internally.
Workers are preparing to remove the window belt. This section was bent and needed to be replaced.
The wing structure needed to be stripped to repair engine pylons.
In preparation to remove damaged structural features, all wiring is pulled back into the parts of the aircraft that won’t be replaced.
This image captures the extent of how much of the structure needed to be removed.
More parts are delivered! Only core components of the structure was obtained from Boeing – for any other rotary parts, spares were brought in from Qantas’s depots or from other companies.
Engine repairs and replacements are commonly done by Qantas technicians. They were responsible for providing and installing replacement engines once the pylon was repaired by Boeing.
Qantas technicians work on the interior refit. As the aircraft ground to a halt suddenly, a number of interior panels were ripped loose. The interior was mostly stripped to inspect and check.
Since the previous landing gear malfunctioned, all new parts needed to be installed. The new gear was then tested over and over again.
The cabin was pressurized on the ground to test the seal and ensure all rivets were properly seated.
To lessen the PR impact of showing all the repaired parts. They were painted in the hangar using paint roller before being flown out for a full repaint.
Once the painting was complete, the plane needed to be cleaned. Workers needed to use cranes to be able to pressure wash the entire body.
There were plenty of leftover parts that needed to be disposed. Once again, they needed to be removed from Thailand due to customs laws.
Although the image is pretty blurry, the results were not. The plane was tested and came back with no active faults [email protected]
As Qantas’s maintenance facilities were elsewhere, basic repairs were done in Bangkok. The plane was then flown out for a repaint and other cosmetic maintenance.
The repaired aircraft was put back in service within 9 months of the incident. The aircraft flew for another 12 years, giving it 22 years service. Most people assume that once a plane crashes, it is immediately scrapped and gone forever. With a little elbow grease and time, this beauty was restored back to her glory days.
To see more images of the amazing restoration, click here.