AirAsia crew added to panic when plane to Bali lost pressure

AirAsia crew on flight from Perth to Bali created mass panic on board when they shouted ‘crash position’ and ‘brace’ as the plane lost pressure

  • 145 Passengers faced panic and confusion as plane lost pressure mid flight 
  • Crew shouted ‘crash position’ on the October 2017 journey from Perth to Bali 
  • Plane was able to land safely after frenzy of inappropriate commands were given
  • New aviation report condemned the actions of the cabin crew 

AirAsia Indonesia cabin crew shouted inappropriate commands to passengers including ‘crash position’ as the air craft lost cabin pressure on a Bali-bound flight from Perth, the air safety watchdog says. 

About 30 minutes into the flight, on October 2017,  attendants started an emergency descent after the plane suddenly lost pressure.   

Some oxygen masks didn’t fall from the ceiling and some passengers didn’t receive oxygen. 

At the time of the landing cabin crew shouted ‘brace’ and ‘get down’, adding to the panic on board the flight, a new aviation report said on Wednesday. 

Terrified passengers told to ‘brace’ and ‘get down’ prepare for the worst with oxygen masks 

Terrifying footage from the time showed the mayhem during the flight and the cabin crew can be heard shouting: ‘Passengers get down! get down!’   

One Passenger Clare Askew told Seven News people were terrified.   

She said: ‘The panic was escalated, because of the behaviour of staff, who were screaming and looked tearful’. 

Passengers tried to follow instructions but incorrect commands caused confusion

Passengers tried to follow instructions but incorrect commands caused confusion 

The plane returned to Perth Airport and landed safely.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a report that the commands were inappropriate.

It also found the pre-flight safety briefing and safety information card did not include a clear instruction on how to activate the flow of oxygen from the masks, and advise that the bag may not inflate when oxygen is flowing. 

‘This incident highlights that an important aspect of managing abnormal passenger responses is the cabin crew’s ability to recall and use appropriate standard commands,’ ATSB transport safety director Dr Stuart Godley said.

Godley continued ‘Passengers generally responded well when appropriate commands were used, but incorrect commands resulted in some confusion and panic among in the cabin.’  

A spokesperson for Air Asia has made the following statement:  

‘Safety underpins AirAsia’s operations and we have cooperated fully with the ATSB throughout the review process.’

‘Since this incident in 2017 AirAsia has reviewed our processes to ensure we always remain fully compliant and that our safety procedures continue to be robust. Given the findings in this latest ATSB report we will review the recommendations, including our pre-flight safety briefing and cabin crew emergency training procedures, as a matter of priority.’

‘Australia’s aviation safety standards are amongst the highest in the world and AirAsia operates within the same strict guidelines as any airline operating in Australia.’

‘All AirAsia operated flights to and from Australia have achieved IOSA certification which is the global benchmark for upholding the highest safety standards.’


Passengers described the momentary panic as 'terrifying' as they thought they were going to die (Air Asia plane pictured)

Passengers described the momentary panic as ‘terrifying’ as they thought they were going to die (Air Asia plane pictured)