A Qantas Airways jet carrying hundreds of passengers from Los Angeles to Melbourne went into a brief nosedive Sunday over the Pacific Ocean after it was jolted by turbulence formed in the wake of another Qantas plane, according to multiple reports.
Flight QF94 was two hours into its journey when the plane entered a wind vortex caused by wake turbulence, according to Australia’s 9News. The news station reported that the plane went into a 10-second nosedive before it steadied.
No passengers were injured in the incident and the aircraft was undamaged, Reuters reported.
“Somebody described it as the feeling of going over the top of a roller coaster, slightly, not the fall – just a little, ‘What’s going on there?’” 9News’ Eddie McGuire said. The TV personality was one of the passengers on Flight QF94 on Sunday.
“There was a little bit of turning of the plane as well and a little bit of downward,” he said. “It was one of those things that got your attention.”
Passenger Janelle Wilson told The Australian that the 484-passenger plane was about three-quarters full when turbulence lifted passengers from their seats.
“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving,” Wilson said. “The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited, but thought with absolute certainty we were going to crash. It was terrifying.”
McGuire praised Qantas staff members for their composure and honesty with passengers during the situation.
“The captain of the aircraft got on and told everyone immediately, ‘This is what happened. Relax,’” McGuire said.
A Qantas spokesman told Reuters that Flight QF94, an Airbus A380, had been traveling behind another Qantas Airbus A380 bound for Sydney and that’s what caused the turbulence.
Wake turbulence forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. According to Reuters, it’s most commonly seen when a smaller aircraft follows a larger jet.
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