Air Asia X flight 237 from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur took off shortly after its scheduled 6:50 a.m. departure time, made it out over the coast of Western Australia, and had to turn back around.
With 359 passengers onboard the Airbus A330, there was a ‘big bang’ about an hour into the flight and the plane began to ‘violently shake’. A passenger described the shaking as “like a ‘washing machine’.”
The captain announced “there appeared to have been an engine seizure on the left side of the aircraft.” And he further announced that everyone’s survival depends on cooperation and also that they should pray.
Passengers reported that several were trying to use their cell phones to call loved ones.
North of Perth emergency services was on standby prepared for the possibility of a water landing. Passengers “were ordered into brace position” but the plane landed safely back at the airport and “everybody burst into applause.”
Air Asia says “there’s no indication it was an engine issue.” Passengers were provided with AU$20 vouchers “and forced to queue for hours” for alternate travel arrangements.
Two years ago the occurrence aircraft had an indication of fire in the right engine on descent into Taipei. On landing at Taoyuan International Airport’s runway 05R the aircraft was examined by emergency services and neither fire nor smoke was found.