Hero Qantas Pilot Says A380 'Absolutely Safe'

Richard de Crespigny, the Qantas pilot who successfully piloted an Airbus A380 after an engine exploded last November, has declared the aircraft "absolutely" safe.

While landing the plane, the flight crew had to deal with more than 60 separate system failures -- but the pilot says the incident just demonstrates the plane is "indestructible."

"This is the biggest testament to Airbus. Some people might think the aircraft collapsed under the onslaught but no aircraft is ever designed to take the beating that this aircraft got," says the pilot during an interview with Australian's 60 Minutes television program.

"The wing was cluster-bombed. The aircraft had phenomenal damage in all systems, and it didn't just recover, it performed brilliantly," says the hero pilot now known as "Captain Fantastic."

The flight was just a little over a half hour into its flight out of Singapore when oil from a small leak caused a turbine disk to explode.

"It was a flight that you could never train for. You might practice one or two emergencies, not 60," continues de Crespigny, who tells the news outlet "every system was degraded" and so many things went seriously wrong that the situation is impossible to replicate in a simulator.

Despite losing half of the hydraulics system and the fact that the brakes underneath the wings were reduced to 30% efficiency, the pilot managed to land the plane.

"I think it was my finest moment, I think I should give up aviation now and leave on a high because I think it was a good landing under tough conditions," says the pilot, who has flown with Qantas for 25 years.

"I don't really like having the 'hero' term put on me," says de Crespigny, who was one of five pilots in the cockpit that day. "Point one, I was just doing my job. Point two, I was supported by an extraordinary crew with lots of experience."

"However, I was the person who signed off on the airplane. I would ultimately be responsible if people died, and I'm so proud of everyone and all the teams that helped that day. I was proud to be in command of that aircraft."

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