The last words you probably want to hear when on an airplane are “brace for impact”. That means something has gone very wrong. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH122 told their passengers before the plane made an emergency landing in Alice Springs.
The Airbus A330-300, traveling from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur, at one point during the flight began to vibrate violently. It landed in Alice Springs at 6:16 pm ET.
Quite naturally, this gave the passengers on board quite a scare.
According to Maryna Delport Evetts, who was on the plane, the plane experienced engine problems. She posted the following on Facebook:
So just when you think this would never happen to you or it just happens in the movies, on our flight back home, four hours into the journey we had engine failure. We turned back and we are now sitting at the Airport in Alice Springs. Not too sure when we will be leaving but hey ho, we are on terra firma. Not a good feeling 10,000 feet up in the air.
Another passenger, Donna Edwards said:
The flight attendant came on and said the pilot will give a 30-second warning before impact. One of the crew stopped near us and one guy said ‘are we crashing or are we landing?’ The crew member said ‘I don’t know’. We were just bracing for the worst. I thought I was going to die.
In a statement following the incident, Malaysia Airlines said the plane’s engine had a “technical fault”. The carrier said:
Safety was not at any time compromised and the commanding captain decided to divert the flight for technical assistance. Malaysia Airlines is also working very hard to reallocate passengers with onward connections on to the next available flights to their destination. Safety at all times is Malaysia Airlines’ number one priority.
Malaysia Airlines doesn’t have a good record with airline catastrophes as the memory of two of its planes MH370, disappeared over southern Indian Ocean, and MH17, shot down over Ukraine, both in 2014, are still very fresh.