The captain of an AirAsia flight from Perth, Australia reportedly told passengers yesterday to “say a prayer” as the plane began shaking “like a washing machine” after an engine apparently shed a turbine blade and seized.
D7 flight D7237, operated with an A330, was forced to turn back mid-flight to Perth, reports said.
This passenger video gives an indication of what it was like aboard the plane.
The bird landed safely and pax were transferred to other flights, though many missed connections and some decided to fly on other carriers.
Passengers said the drama began with a loud explosion, apparently from the left-hand engine, after which the plane began to bounce and shake. One passenger told ABC News the aircraft started “shaking like a washing machine.”
Some flyers were distressed and crying, reports said. Other praised the professionalism of the crew and the captain’s skill in getting everyone back safely. Passengers burst into applause after the flight landed.
Passenger Sophie Nicolas told reporters she knew by the cabin crew’s reaction the situation was “really bad.”
“He [the flight captain] said ‘I hope you all say a prayer; I will be saying a prayer too and let’s hope we all get back home safely.’”
The Aviation Herald reported that the left-hand engine (a Rolls-Royce Trent 772) “suffered a blade fracture, ingested the blade resulting in severe damage in engine core and severe vibrations.”
The crew shut the engine down, drifted the aircraft down to a lower altitude and returned to Perth for a safe landing about two hours after the engine failure, the publication reported.