Captain David Evans

Senior Check Captain, Qantas

In 2005 Captain David Evans, a pilot with over 35 years experience and more than 20,000 hours of flight time, Checking & Training Qantas pilots, was invited to be part of the team that introduced the A380 Super Jumbo to the Qantas fleet.

In 2010 he was the Senior Check Captain on board the Qantas QF32 during a major incident in Singapore when the crew had to cope with an uncontained engine failure. Imagine sitting on a plane on the runway with fuel leaking over hot brakes and an engine that wouldn’t shut down. 

Captain David Evans was very much part of the drama as it unfolded. 

In today’s world we rely on technology to solve our problems but technology is only a tool.

Do not forget the ‘Human Factors’ namely Teamwork, Leadership & Management, Decision Making, Communication and Situation Awareness that are integral in helping us to make the right decisions.


QF32 – Resilience/CRM

Captain David Evans was the Senior Check Captain onboard the Qantas A380 during a major incident in Singapore in 2010.

His job is to train and check Qantas pilots on the Airbus A380 Super Jumbo. Captain Evans has some 35 years of experience and almost 20,000 hours of flight time. He has extensive training experience on all long-haul aircraft and in 2005 was invited to be part of the team that introduced the A380 Super Jumbo to the Qantas fleet.

Since the incident David has been invited to address Air France and British Airways pilots on the CRM (crew resource management) and risk assessment and mitigation used. This has led to several “Keynote” addresses to the aviation, medical and other industries on how to solve complex problems. In modern society we rely on technology to solve our problems but we must not forget the “Human Factors” namely Teamwork, Leadership & Management, Communication and Situation Awareness.

At the time of the incident he was conducting a Route Check on the operating Captain as well as training a new Check Captain and thus was very much a part of the drama as it unfolded.

The other flight deck crew were Richard de Crespigny (Pilot in Command, 15,000 hrs), Harry Wubben (Route Check Captain, 20,000 hrs), Matt Hicks (First Officer, 11,000 hrs) and Mark Johnson (Second Officer, 8,000 hrs). With the Cabin Service Manager (Michael Von Reth) this team boasted some 140 years of experience and over 71,000 flight hours – a significant factor in the successful outcome of the incident.

He was interviewed by the RAeS on the 6th December 2010. in the interview he describes how the crew reacted to the uncontained engine failure and discusses the decisions the crew had to make. In particular, he considers that the most serious part of the whole incident being the time on the runway with fuel leaking over hot brakes and an engine that wouldn’t shut down. He also says that later they tried to recreate the whole incident in the simulator but couldn’t! Finally near the end of the interview he says that common sense and airmanship took over, they couldn’t blindly follow the ECAM messages.

He also says about the A380: “Well I think the Airbus A380 – it’s a testament to the aircraft that we managed to get the aeroplane successfully on to the ground. The fly-by-wire system, albeit with the damage as we were in an alternate law, it still was very flyable. Now comparing that to other types I have flown I am sure that Boeing types would be been equally flyable, but they would have been a lot more difficult, I’m sure.”