Passengers share their terrifying experience on Latam flight as investigation begins after it felt like an earthquake.

Passengers share their terrifying experience on Latam flight as investigation begins after it felt like an earthquake.

Cockpit voice and flight data recorders are being gathered as an investigation begins into a sudden mid-air drop on an Auckland-bound flight that left passengers bloodied, hospitalised dozens and “felt like an earthquake had just hit”.

LA800, a flight operated by Latam Airlines, took off from Sydney at 11:35am on Monday with a total of 263 passengers and nine crew members, bound for Auckland. Approximately two-thirds into the three-hour journey, the flight experienced turbulence, according to flight tracking information. The airline stated that the aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, was eight years old.

The incident occurred after a “technical problem”, the Chilean carrier said, as it continued to investigate the incident. Passengers on board the flight told New Zealand news site Stuff that once the plane landed, the pilot was in “shock” and said his “gauges just blanked out”. Without the instrument panel, passengers claimed the pilot said he briefly lost the ability to fly his plane.

On Monday at approximately 4:30pm, 14 emergency vehicles were on standby at Auckland airport to assist 50 individuals who required medical attention after their flight landed safely.

Thirteen individuals were admitted to the hospital, with one reported to be in a serious state. The hospitalized individuals consist of four passengers from Australia, two from Brazil and New Zealand, as well as one passenger each from France and Chile. Additionally, three cabin crew members were also transported for further medical care.

On Tuesday morning, there were four patients still being treated at Middlemore Hospital. Latam released a statement stating that the remaining patients were not in any life-threatening danger.

The Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), the Chilean authority in charge of accident investigation, has officially announced the launch of an investigation into the incident that occurred on Tuesday.

Since the event took place in airspace that is internationally recognized, it is the duty of the DGAC to conduct the investigation. However, the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has been requested to support the Chilean counterpart in their investigation.

According to a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, TAIC is currently collecting evidence for the inquiry, which involves obtaining the cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

The CAA for New Zealand stated that the occurrence has not been officially recorded with them, but they anticipate it will be in the near future, following guidelines outlined in the Civil Aviation Rules.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released a statement saying that they are currently collaborating with the Transport Accident Investigation Commission in New Zealand to assist with their ongoing investigation. They also stated that they will take part in any necessary actions.

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The fall from above has been estimated to last approximately one second.

According to Auckland DJ Lucas Ellwood, who was wearing a seatbelt during the incident, the plane suddenly dropped right after the lunch service ended.

Ellwood described the incident as a brief and sudden shock, lasting less than a second. He compared the sensation to that of an earthquake.

Ellwood informed the Guardian that the situation was going well until suddenly, without any indication from the pilots, it took a turn for the worse.

Everything that wasn’t secured flew up to the roof, according to Ellwood.

“He described it as a terrifying experience.” Ellwood shared that both passengers and crew suffered injuries, some of which involved bleeding, and that many were visibly distressed.

Prior to landing, there was a state of verbal panic. However, as soon as we landed, the atmosphere shifted and transformed into one of overwhelming applause, cheers, and clapping. It was not until this moment that the fear dissipated among everyone.

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After the incident, Ellwood stated that passengers were not given much information and the airline has not shown him any support or offered an apology.

I am slightly let down by the lack of a speedy reaction to this concerning issue.

Brian Jokat, a fellow passenger on the flight, stated that “out of nowhere, the plane unexpectedly plummeted from the sky.”

At the time of the drop, Jokat was asleep while wearing his seatbelt. He was awakened when he noticed that the passenger seated next to him had been launched upwards and was now pressed against the plane’s ceiling. Eventually, the passenger fell back down and hit their head on the armrest, causing panic among the other passengers.

According to Jokat, he then experienced the plane descending sharply and he thought to himself, “This is it, we’re finished.”

Jokat stated to Stuff that the ceiling sustained damage from the impact of individuals’ heads and bodies. Various individuals required neck braces and experienced head injuries, resulting in bleeding. The situation was chaotic.

The planned itinerary included a layover in New Zealand before reaching Santiago, Chile. However, the following leg of the flight was cancelled and an option for continued travel to Santiago on a Tuesday evening flight was given to passengers.

Latam stated that they are collaborating with the relevant authorities to assist in the inquiries regarding the incident.

The main focus of Latam Airlines Group is to assist the passengers and crew on the affected flight and express regret for any disruption or discomfort it may have caused. They also reaffirm their dedication to safety as a fundamental principle in their operational protocols, as stated in the airline’s announcement.

According to Fionnagh Dougan, the national director of hospital and specialist services for Health New Zealand, this was a significant occurrence.

Dougan stated that our team put in immense effort alongside our partner organizations in order to guarantee a smooth transfer of patients and provide optimal care for all individuals involved.

According to the Guardian, Boeing has been in communication with Latam as the airline looks into the cause of the issue. A representative stated that Boeing is prepared to assist with any investigation-related tasks as needed.

Boeing shares closed down about 3%, after the latest incident involving one of its aircraft. The US Federal Aviation Administration in January barred the troubled plane maker from expanding production of its bestselling 737 MAX narrow-body planes, after “unacceptable” quality issues.