Flying is not the most relaxing thing to do these days. According to the Air Transport Association, there are more than 37 million worldwide flights a year, and more than 102,000 flights a day. The sky is crowded, and passenger sit in small seats like sardines in an airtight aluminum can. That aluminum can, can be one of the several types of airplanes that go from one destination to another without any major drama. But there are flights that run into minor as well as major challenges while cruising at 34,000 feet. One of those challenges gave the passengers on an AirAsia flight from Australia to Bali the scare of a lifetime recently. The airline crew on the AirAsia flight QZ535 didn’t help bring down the scare factor when the main cabin lost air pressure and plunged from 34,000 feet to 10,000 in a matter of minutes.
According to some passengers, the crew was in shock when the plane fell from the sky. Crew members were screaming and tearful, and that behavior put the passengers in panic mode. The hysterical crew didn’t give passengers any hope that the pilots could stop the plane’s rapid descent. Hysteria became the drink of the day on that flight. Instead of reassuring passengers, the crew was fear-struck. They couldn’t clam passengers or help them. Some passengers prayed, according to one passenger. Those prayers were the answer to the pilot’s success in pulling the plane out of the rapid nosedive, according to another passenger.
Some passengers had their phones out and they were shooting video of the turmoil within the AirAsia cabin. Oxygen masks were dangling in the air, and the frightened crew was screaming “get down, get down.” Those instructions conform to crew instructions in case of an emergency, but the instructions were so panic-filled it was hard to believe those instructions were correct, according to one of the Australian passengers.
Once the pilots got the plane under control, they immediately made a U-turn and went back to Perth. The 151 shocked people on board deplaned safely. AirAsia is not commenting on the behavior of its staff, and the staff isn’t making any statements either. But according to Flightaware.com data, the plane did drop from 34,000 feet to 10,000 feet in 15 minutes. That is standard procedure when the main cabin is depressurized, according to an AirAsia representative.