Crew Panics More Than Passengers as AirAsia Jet Drops 24,000 feet in 9 Minutes

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
October 16, 2017Worldshare
Crew Panics More Than Passengers as AirAsia Jet Drops 24,000 feet in 9 Minutes
An Indian airport staff member walks next to an AirAsia airplane after it landed on its inaugural flight from New Delhi to Bagdogra Airport, some 12 miles from Siliguri, on Feb. 19, 2017. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images)

Passengers were left terrified after an AirAsia jet plunged 24,000 feet after the cabin lost air pressure.

Passengers remember the crew panicking first, and then seeing oxygen masks drop from the overhead bins of the Airbus A320. Passengers recall the crew preparing for a crash, running through the aisles in a panic and confusing passengers, NBC News reported.

The plane was headed from Perth, Australia, to Bali, Indonesia. Passengers were under the impression that this would be their last airplane flight and thought they wouldn’t survive. Some were crying and saying goodbye.

Passengers saw a panicked flight crew who seemed less prepared for the incident than they were.

“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,” said passenger Clare Askew via NBC News. Askew said staff “were screaming, looked tearful and shocked.”

Chris Jeanes, who decided to propose to his girlfriend during the chaos, said staff were running through the aisles yelling “emergency, brace, crash positions.” Despite the circumstances, his girlfriend said “Yes” to marrying him.

The 24,000-foot drop brought the plane down to a 10,000-foot altitude, where normal pressure can return and people can breathe without oxygen masks. The plane landed back in Perth 78 minutes after it took off, returning to safety with 151 people on board, the BBC reported. Passengers were shaken, but relieved.

Air travel authorities are currently investigating the incident. AirAsia was involved in another scary situation in June, when one of the engines blew out, forcing the plane to turn around and land back in Perth, USA Today reported. The flight was originally scheduled to land in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In December 2014 an AirAsia jet hit the Java Sea on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore. The 162 passengers and crew on board were all killed.

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