Pilot To Passengers: Say Your Prayers


Among the things passengers don’t want to hear over the PA is the pilot asking them to pray but it reportedly happened twice on the shaky return of an AirAsia X A330 to Perth, Australia, early Sunday. Something happened to one of the engines about 75 minutes into the flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur and the plane headed back. But even though the crew almost certainly shut down the aggrieved turbine, the shaking continued. There were some reports the Rolls-Royce engine shipped a main turbine blade so it’s possible the windmilling engine transmitted its displeasure to the rest of the airframe for the two-hour flight back to Perth. Video from the incident shows the cabin shaking rhythmically like what one passenger described as an off-balance washing machine.

Multiple sources said passengers reported the captain came over the PA twice asking the unspecified number of people in the back to join him in a word to their favorite deity but the aircraft held together, as it is designed to do, and landed safely, albeit with the passengers ordered to brace. The captain shook hands with everyone as they deplaned. Some passengers took the incident in stride and praised the crew but others had a harder time with the incident. “I was crying a lot, a lot of people were crying, trying to call their mums and stuff but we couldn’t really do anything just wait and trust the captain,” Sophie Nicolas told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Everybody burst into applause when we landed.”