An AirAsia airline suddenly dropped 24,000 feet while flying from Perth, Australia to the island of Bali on Oct. 14.
As AirAsia Flight QZ535 lost cabin air pressure, oxygen masks dropped down and the panicked flight crew ordered passengers: “Fasten your seatbelts! Fasten your seatbelts!”
Passenger Clare Askew told NBC News that the airline crew “were screaming, looked tearful and shocked. Now, I get it, but we looked to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any, we were more worried because of how panicked they were.”
Chris Jeanes, another passenger, said the crew ran down the aisle shouting “emergency, brace, crash positions” for about 25 minutes.
Jeanes pulled down his oxygen mask and proposed to his girlfriendCasey Kinchella: “Luckily she said, ‘yes.’ We both reconfirmed with each other when we were on the ground.”
AirAsia said in a statement the pilot turned back “following a technical issue to ensure the safety of passengers.”
AirAsia Group head of safety Captain Ling Liong Tien praised the panicked crew:
We commend our pilots for landing the aircraft safely and complying with standard operating procedure. We are fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew and we will continue to ensure that we adhere to the highest safety standards.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident.
“The safety of passengers and crew is our priority,” AirAsia said. “AirAsia apologizes to passengers for any inconvenience caused.”
(Source: NBC News)