It was a harrowing experience for 145 passengers on board AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ535 from Perth to Bali on Sunday (Oct 15).
According to New Straits Times (NST), the aircraft plummeted from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet, just 25 minutes after take-off.
After seeing a flight attendant run down the aisle, passengers saw oxygen masks fall from above them, Australia’s 9NEWS reported.
Amidst the drama, crew were reportedly “no help at all” as cabin crew were screaming and “looked tearful and shocked”, NST reported.
Passengers interviewed by 9NEWS said they picked up their phones and started texting goodbye messages to loved ones as they thought they were going to die.
“We were all pretty much saying goodbye to each other. It was really upsetting,” a passenger was quoted as saying.
Fortunately, the pilot managed to turn the plane back to Perth International Airport, where passengers were scheduled on the next available flight.
AirAsia said in a statement that engineers are now assessing the aircraft.