Shake, rattle and roll: Airline captain tells passengers to pray during wild flight

It's never a good sign when your pilot tells you to "pray."

But that's exactly what happened — twice — on a scary Air Asia X flight from Australia to Malaysia as the plane shook like a "washing machine" for two hours, according to passengers.

"The rattling started straight away," Damien Stevens, who was on his way from Perth to Kuala Lumpur with a friend, told NBC News. "It was like being in a washing machine or on a compressor. The crew were really good, although the pilot asked us to pray twice and said he was scared too."

Stevens said the Sunday morning flight out of Perth began to shake rapidly after they heard a "huge bang" about 75 minutes into the flight, which should have taken the Airbus 330 about six hours.

RELATED: The World's Safest Airlines

20 PHOTOS
The World's Safest Airlines
See Gallery
The World's Safest Airlines
Air New Zealand 
Alaska Airlines
All Nippon Airways 
American Airlines 
Cathay Pacific Airways
Emirate
Etihad Airways 
Eva Airways 
Finnair 
Japan Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Qantas Airways 
Scandinavian Airline 
Singapore Airlines 
Swiss Airline
United Airlines 
Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Australia
Lufthansa
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Footage taken by Stevens, the man in glasses in the video above, and his friend shows seats and passengers shaking rapidly and a rattling sound.

The exact cause of the incident remains unclear. Stevens said the airline was very forthcoming with information, though he said they told him the trouble stemmed from one of the engines and that the pilot had 44 years of experience.

"I'm not 100 percent sure," he said, noting that he could not see the engine and could not definitively confirm. "It was the left engine, engine one. We flew back on one engine. It was either jammed, frozen, the engine belt broke — apparently a blade broke off."

Passengers on the left side of the plane were asked by the pilot "to keep an eye on it," as he could not see the engine well from the cabin.

"The only thing I could think of was my family, because it's the first day of Eid celebration," passenger Alia Abdul Rahim told NBC News. "All I wanted to do was go home and hug my parents."

The flight landed back in Perth two hours later, shaking the entire time, passengers said. They remained in a bracing position while the plane landed, which was reportedly smooth.

"Thank God the pilot and the crew did a great job," Rahim told NBC News.

RELATED: Inside airline horror stories

11 PHOTOS
Airline horror stories
See Gallery
Airline horror stories

United Bans Leggings
Two passengers were denied boarding because they were wearing leggings in March. According to United, the airline had a right to deny boarding based on dress code because the girls were using “buddy passes” and were, therefore, representing the airline when they fly, similar to employees.

Photo Credit: Getty 

David Dao
Definitely not an employee, David Dao was forcibly removed from a United flight in April after he refused to give up his seat on an "overbooked flight," resulting in a serious concussion, a broken nose, and two lost teeth. Video of the incident went viral, causing United to change their policy and get slapped with a lawsuit that was quickly settled.

Photo Credit: Youtube

Giant Rabbit Dies
United also faced another controversy when a giant rabbit being transported on one of its planes died in the cargo during a flight. According to The Sun newspaper, the animal, named Simon, was the son of the world’s largest rabbit -- a four-foot long continental rabbit called Darius --and was expected to have grown larger than his father.

“Something very strange has happened and I want to know what. I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before," said owner Annette Edwards.

Photo Credit: Twitter 

Bride and Groom Booted From Flight 
A bride and groom traveling to Costa Rica for their wedding in April were escorted off a United Airlines flight after they noticed a man sleeping in their seats and decided to move up three rows as to not wake the passenger. However, it was an "Economy Plus" seat and although the passengers said they complied to return to the seats, a U.S. Marshal removed them.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Altercation Between American Airlines and Mother
American Airlines suspended a flight attendant while investigating a scuffle between him, a mom and two babies. In a viral video, a woman is seen hysterically crying while holding a toddler, with a male flight attending yanking away the stroller for her second child.g a scuffle between him, a mom and two babies. In a viral video, a woman is seen hysterically crying while holding a toddler, with a male flight attending yanking away the stroller for her second child.

Photo Credit: Youtube

Delta Removes Passenger After He Used the Bathroom
At the end of April, a man was removed from a Delta flight after he used the bathroom while the plane awaited takeoff on the tarmac. 

Photo Credit: Getty 

Delta Worker Threatens Passengers With Jail Time
Early May, a Southern California family said they were kicked off an overbooked Delta flight because they refused to give up a seat they had bought for their young son sitting in a car seat. They were asked to have their son sit on their lap for the duration of the flight. They refused, saying they paid for the seat, to which the airline staff threatened the family with jail time.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Spirit Airlines Riot
In May, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport descended into total chaos after nine Spirit Airlines flights were canceled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and increasingly irate in the terminal. The cancellations were the result of a legal dispute between the budget airline and the Air Line Pilots Association International. 

 Courtesy of Jary Romero/Handout via REUTERS

Teen Trapped in Airport Alone Overnight
According to CBC News, a 15-year-old boy was "trapped" overnight in an airport alone when Air Canada rebooked him on another flight after he missed his original one. However, the flight was almost 24 hours later and the airline did not offer him any accommodation or vouchers for food. Because he is a minor, he could not get a hotel room, he says.

(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Passenger Forced to Pee in a Cup
Also in May, a passenger claimed she was forced to pee in a cup aboard a United flight after flight attendants told her she wasn’t allowed to use the lavatory until the pilot had turned off the fasten seatbelt sign.

The woman, who had an overactive bladder, was told the flight attendant would be filing a report about the incident.

Photo Credit: Getty 

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

No one was injured during the incident, though it seemed some passengers were struggling after getting off the plane.

"I feel fine but a lot of people I've spoken with are really shaken and quite apprehensive about the flight," Stevens said.

The budget airline released a statement later Sunday, though they did not appear to have an immediate explanation for the chaos.

"Passengers were attended to by our ground staff upon landing and were provided with all necessary assistance," AirAsia said in a statement. "Our engineers are taking the precautionary steps to check the aircraft."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.