Singapore-bound Jetstar flight forced to land after fault detection

SINGAPORE - A Jetstar plane heading from Melbourne to Singapore turned around while flying above the Timor Sea on Monday morning (Dec 21), Australian media ABC reported.

According to the report, Flight JQ7 departed from Melbourne around 9.30am Singapore time and was enroute to Singapore when the pilot detected a fault in one of the flight instruments. He then turned the plane around and landed at Darwin International Airport at about 3pm Singapore time. 

Emergency vehicles attended to the plane after it landed. The plane was supposed to have landed in Singapore at 4.50pm local time.

Live tracking website Flightradar24 also posted an update on the flight's reroute. 

In the ABC report, a Jetstar spokesperson said: "Following a brief period of turbulence, the captain of a flight from Melbourne to Singapore identified a technical fault with one of the instruments on the flight deck and opted to divert to Darwin as a precaution." She added that engineers will inspect the plane before clearing it for service.

ABC added that some of the passengers did not take well to the situation, citing that they only realised something was amiss when the plane's flight path began charting a return to Australia.

A passenger said in the ABC report: "It is terrible. We are meant to be in Singapore right now, but we are stuck in Darwin, no one really told us what was going on. The turbulence wasn't that bad. I thought we could have kept going through it."

Jetstar has yet to report which flight instrument was faulty. The plane is expected to be stranded in Darwin until tomorrow morning.