Passengers flying from Newman to Perth faced death when one of their QantasLink 717’s engines stalled soon after take off.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau confirmed the incident, a suspected compressor stall, and that it was the third safety incident involving this particular plane – VH-NXI, the West Australian reports.
Fly in fly out miners who were travelling on the plane said it shuddered and dropped following a loud bang.
“Passengers screamed and one guy in front of me was crying and the chap behind was really panicking,” one worker said.
“It was terrifying. I was sitting right in front of the engine and could look back and see it.
“When the engine failed the air-conditioners failed and the lights went down.”
People on the ground reportedly saw a smoke emerging from the engine soon after take off.
Following the stall, the pilots calmly informed the passengers of the incident and spent 15 minutes circling Newman and checking systems before managing a ‘hard landing’.
No one was injured.
The first two safety incidents this plane recorded saw its right engine fail while it flew into Karratha, and a day later on a flight from Perth to Port Hedland, the plane’s airspeed displays became ‘erratic’, forcing the crew to abort the flight and return to Perth.