Air Asia flight forced to land in WA

Delia Watkins
June 26, 2017

The incident happened in an AirAsia flight that was bound to Malaysia from Perth.

The pilot said the decision to return to Perth 90 minutes after leaving was made because of "technical issues" with the passenger plane.

More than 300 passengers were onboard.

Passenger Brenton Atkinson told ABC Online that the plane's crew remained professional throughout the whole situation.

According to a spokesman for Perth Airport, the pilot of the AirAsia plane had identified a technical issue with the engine, but gave no further details of the issue.

"The safety of our guests is our utmost priority", the airline said in a statement.

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The West Australian newspaper cited passengers on yesterday's flight as saying they heard a bang and then the plane started shuddering.

One passenger, Damos Stevens, told CNN that he and his friend Mitch Jamieson were heading to Myanmar for a vacation.

"You could tell by the cabin crew's reaction that it was really bad", she said.

The problem was reportedly with the engine and it forced the plane to turn around mid-flight and head back to Perth. We could see the engine out the window which was really shaken on the wing, ABC quoted him saying. The last occurrence was in August 2016, when 9M-XXD diverted to Alice Springs while enroute from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur due to an in-flight engine shutdown that has been linked to a fracture in one of the engines' oil pump drive shafts. The passengers were asked by the Pilot to pray twice and they were advised to the brace position.

In December 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea killing all 162 people on board after the aircraft's rudder control system malfunctioned during the flight.

"Of course we were a bit anxious but at the end of the day ... we safely landed".

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