Pilot Tells Passengers to 'Say a Prayer' As Plane Violently Shakes
On Sunday 359 passengers onboard an AirAsia flight from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur had the scare of a lifetime when the Airbus 330 they were flying in experienced mechanical issues.
About an hour into the flight, passengers heard a loud “bang” before the plane began to violently shake, according to reports.
"We were asleep and heard a loud bang around the 1-hour-and-15-minute mark," Damien Stevens, a passenger onboard the flight, told CNN. "It shook for the whole ride back, close on two hours."
One passenger even shared a video from inside the cabin during the bumpy ride, writing in the caption, "I thought I might die."
“It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine. The whole thing was going," passenger Brenton Atkinson said to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Once the shaking began, the pilot reportedly came over the intercom twice to ask passengers to pray for their safe return.
"I hope you all say a prayer. I'll be saying a prayer too and let's hope we all get back home safely'" the pilot said, according to TravelMole, before adding, "Please listen to everything. Our survival depends on your cooperating. Hopefully everything will turn out for the best.”
No passengers were hurt during the incident. After disembarking from the damaged plane all passengers were transferred to another flight that took off safely Sunday night.
"The safety of our guests is our utmost priority," AirAsia said in a statement.
The shaking came after one of the plane’s Rolls-Royce engines experienced technical difficulties. As CNN noted, the imbalance inside a rapidly-spinning jet engine could have caused the strong vibrations. However, it should be noted that twin engine planes like the Airbus 330 are designed to be able to fly and land with just one engine.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that an Airbus 330 has experienced issues with a Rolls-Royce engine. As Fortune reported, a China Eastern Airlines plane was forced to turn back to Sydney after part of the engine's nacelle casing came off in May. A similar incident also occurred on an EgyptAir flight that same month.
A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce told CNN, "We are aware of the incident and will be working closely with relevant partners to understand the cause of the issue.”