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.
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'. 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 spokeswoman for Air Asia said: '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.'
The airline said they would review the recommendations in the report.