QANTAS: Forgotten Heroes of Qantas Flight QF72!

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After more than 11 years, we the undersigned are respectfully calling on the Qantas Group Chairman, Mr. Richard Goyder, Qantas Group Board of Directors, and Qantas Group CEO, Mr. Alan Joyce, to please acknowledge and recognise publicly on behalf of the Qantas Group, Qantas Captain Kevin Sullivan (Ret.), First Officer Peter Lipsett, and Second Officer Ross Hales, for their heroic actions in saving the lives of 315 passengers and crew on board Qantas Flight 72 on October 7, 2008.

We are also respectfully calling on the Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, to please acknowledge and recognise publicly, on behalf of the Australian Government, Qantas Captain Kevin Sullivan (Ret.), First Officer Peter Lipsett, and Second Officer Ross Hales, as Australian National Heroes for their commendable and outstanding contribution to Australian Aviation and to the Australian Nation.

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 letters received from some of the passengers. Names have been withheld as 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 judgement 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 travelled 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.

                                  Award Recommendations:

  1. The Qantas Chairman's Diamond Award for displaying such extraordinary valour, selflessness, and remarkable courage, which was crucial in protecting the aircraft and the safety of all 315 passengers and crew on board in circumstances of extreme peril.
  2. Australia's highest civilian Bravery award, the 'Cross of Valour" for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

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

Mayday / Season 18 Ep.7:

Readers Digest Article:

The Sunhttps://he

Sydney Morning Herald: 

Sunday News:

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

One Breakfast News with John Campbell June 21, 2019:

Facebook Page / Photos:

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

Lastly, I’m respectfully calling on the people of Australia, and the World at large to please help me by signing this petition, share it online, and making it go viral, until Qantas, the Australian Government, and Airbus do what is right and acknowledge these heroes publicly.

Together we can help right a wrong! PEOPLE POWER!

God Bless,

Fuzzy Maiava
QF72 Flight Attendant (Medically Ret.)