A PASSENGER who carried fireworks onto a flight from Indonesia to Australia has highlighted a major security breach that could have brought down a plane, according to one aviation expert.
The December 2013 Australian Transport Safety Bureau incident report says the crackers, on a flight from Bali, were found ''post flight … in carry-on baggage''.
Aviation expert Tony Webber, an associate professor at the University of Sydney Business School, said terrorism attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 88 Australians, made any explosives on a plane a big concern.
''Before you go on a flight - at check-in and before you board - you are told explosives are not allowed. I'd say that was a major security breach,'' Dr Webber said.
''If it led to a fire in the belly of the plane because of fireworks going off and that, in turn, went anywhere near jet fuel, you're gone.
''There is a reason for them saying you can't have fireworks in your bag when you check in your luggage.''
The most recent safety bureau reports included incidents where a fox was struck by a plane on landing, as well as numerous collisions between planes and doves, galahs, sparrows and bats. One report spoke of a plane that was struck by lightning while in a holding pattern over Melbourne.
The bureau forwarded questions about the fireworks incident to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. In an emailed response, a spokesman said if ''a small quantity of fireworks'' is detected by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Australian Federal Police become involved.
''The Australian government works closely with all of our aviation partner nations and neighbours to maintain the highest levels of safety and security for the travelling public,'' it said.
But the department refused to say where the flight had landed or which airline was involved.
According to the safety bureau report, the incident will not be investigated. Dr Webber said this was unusual as an incident of this nature should be investigated to uncover how the breach had occurred.