QANTAS: Forgotten Heroes of Qantas Flight QF72!

QANTAS: Forgotten Heroes of Qantas Flight QF72!

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After more than 11 years, we the undersigned are respectfully calling on the Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Australian Federal Government, Qantas Group Chairman, Mr. Richard Goyder, Qantas Group Board of Directors, Qantas Group CEO, Mr. Alan Joyce, Airbus Group Chairman, Mr. Rene Obermann, Airbus Group Board of Directors, and Airbus Group CEO, Mr. Guillaume Faury to please acknowledge and recognise publicly, Qantas Captain Kevin 'Sully' Sullivan (Ret.), First Officer Peter Lipsett, and Second Officer Ross Hales, for their heroic actions in saving the lives of 315 passengers and crew onboard Qantas Flight 72 on October 7, 2008.

                                AWARD RECOMMENDATION:

Australia's highest civilian Bravery award, the 'Cross of Valour" for acts of the most conspicuous Courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

Against all odds, these courageous men skillfully pulled off one of the most remarkable near-death escapes in aviation history when they critically handled and recovered a falling aircraft from the sky not once but twice when all they could see was the Indian Ocean.

Their selfless act, courage, and cool-headed actions under extreme pressure ensured the lives of 315 passengers and crew was safely back in their hands. 119 passengers were injured, twelve seriously, in what was described by many of the passengers as the "Terror Flight from Hell!"

Sullivan a born American (who calls Australia his home) is a former U.S. Navy Top Gun fighter pilot. Sullivan had no option but to execute a military manoeuvre to safely land the Qantas Airbus A330 aircraft. A move that was familiar territory for Sullivan having practiced it many times in the Navy for similar situations. In doing so, he and his crew cautiously avoided the possibility of another sudden nosedive which would have been catastrophic and fatal.

Sullivan now medically retired faces an uphill battle in dealing with the struggles of managing his chronic PTSD constantly every day as a direct result of Qantas Flight 72. This extraordinary human being has certainly gone above and beyond the call of duty and has certainly ticked all the boxes by far. A very modest and well-respected citizen, Sullivan downplays his heroics acknowledging that it was a team effort just doing their job.

Below are just some of the many comments from the letters received from some of the passengers. Names have been withheld with respect to their privacy.

1. Your courage, expertise, and experience saved my young family’s life. You are all heroes! The crew absolutely exercised tremendous intelligence, skill, and professional composure to bring us home to our extended loved ones on that day.

2. You should be all extremely proud of yourselves dealing with such arduous circumstances. Please uphold the faith in your judgment and ability, as you all saved many people that day.

3. I spoke to the Pilot immediately following our emergency landing and although he was physically shaken and drained his first reaction was for the passengers and he traveled through the plane talking to the passengers and calming them. Again our deepest thanks and appreciation to your wonderful crew who were totally professional and deserve public recognition from the company for their actions.

4. I am writing to thank you for saving the lives of my treasured daughters. If it weren’t for the swift skilled actions of the Captain and the care of the crew, their lives could have been cut short.


Australia / Channel 7 - Full documentary of Qantas Flight 72:

Mayday / Season 18 Ep.7:

Readers Digest Article:

The Sun: https://he

Sydney Morning Herald: 

Captain Kevin Sullivan on 'The Project' May 30, 2019:

No Man's Land: The Untold Story of Automation and QF72:

Petition URL:

I’m now respectfully calling on the people of Australia, and the World at large to please help us by signing this petition, share it online, and making it go viral, until the Australian Federal Government, Qantas Group, and Airbus Group do the right thing and honour these MEN OF VALOR!.

Together we can help right a wrong!

Stay Safe and God Bless,



Arthur Birch