An AirAsia flight to Malaysia had to return to Australia today due to a technical problem, which one passenger described as “shaking like a washing machine”.
Ninety minutes into the flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur, the Airbus A330 experienced problems.
Emergency crews at Perth Airport had been put on standby but the aircraft landed safely,
with the airport reporting a “technical issue”.
“The pilot identified technical issues, turned around and returned,” an airport spokesman told AFP.
The West Australian newspaper cited passengers on the flight as saying they heard a bang and then the plane started shuddering.
“You could tell by the cabin crew’s reaction that it was really bad,” said Sophie Nicolas, who said she heard a small explosion from the left wing. “It was terrifying.”
Another passenger, Brenton Atkinson, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the whole plane started shaking, far more than standard turbulence.
“It was essentially the engine seized up I think, that’s what they told us anyway,” he said.
“It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine. The whole thing was going. We could see the engine out the window which was really shaking on the wing.
“Once we landed, we realised one of the blades had actually come off the turbine.”
AirAsia suffered its first fatal incident in December 2014, when Flight QZ8501 crashed in stormy weather off Indonesia with 162 people on board.