AirAsia plane 'shaking like washing machine' returns to Australia

Flight D7237 departed just before 7am WST (11am NZDT) on Sunday for Kuala Lumpur with 359 people on board and was about 90 minutes into the flight when the pilot identified what AirAsia says was a technical issue.

"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", passenger Sophie Nicolas told ABC.

A number of passengers on board the budget flight said the plane suffered an "engine seizure" causing it to shake.

"It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine", he told ABC radio.

Another passenger said the captain expressed the hope they would say a prayer and that he was praying for a safe return to Perth.

The A330 flight PER-KUL landed safely at Perth International Airport a short time ago. The whole thing was going.

Australian paper says a blade in one of the two engines had sheared off and passengers applauded the pilots when it landed safely. We could see the engine out the window which was really shaking on the wing.

"An AirAsia flight has been forced to turn back to Perth after an engine reportedly failed and an explosion was heard mid flight", The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

It is not yet known when they will be put on another flight.

"The safety of our guests is our utmost priority", it added.

"Guests on board the flight will be transferred to the next available flight or the recovery flight which is scheduled to depart Perth at 20:30 hours (Perth time) tonight", said the airline in a Sunday statement.

AirAsia said the plane had returned due to a "technical reason".

  • Zachary Reyes