Air safety investigators say they will look into claims signals from the base used to communication
with US and Australian ships and submarines may have interfered with the Qantas Airbus’s computer.
During the emergency the plane plunged 650 feet in seconds, injuring more than 70 passengers and crew.
The naval communications base is at Exmouth in Western Australia’s north, 30km from where the Qantas Airbus A330-300 made an emergency landing at Learmonth last week.
There were 303 passengers and 10 crew aboard when the plane suddenly dropped altitude, hurling people around the cabin and forcing the pilot to land.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau today said it would examine whether powerful electromagnetic signals from the communications base could have sparked the emergency.
The base uses powerful low frequency radio transmissions to US Navy and Australian Navy ships and submarines.