Jetstar plane landing at Coolangatta Airport.
Jetstar plane landing at Coolangatta Airport. Scott Powick

Jetstar flight forced to turn around in New Zealand

SPARKS, bangs and a shuddering aircraft are not what most people want from a flight.

But passengers on a Jetstar craft flying from Auckland to Dunedin on Saturday afternoon experienced exactly that.

One passenger, who was sitting near the front of the aircraft and wished to remain anonymous, said after a "series of loud bangs" the pilot made an announcement that the craft had lost engine [power] and would be landing back at Auckland within 10 minutes.

"Our flight was initially delayed because of a passenger in row 26 complaining of noises around their seat.

"This was apparently deemed to be because of something to do with a velcro strap.

Then, after we had made the unexpected landing, other passengers reported that the noises the person in row 26 had reported were actually a sign that there was a problem with the engine," the passenger said.

The plane was scheduled to board at 2pm and arrive in Dunedin at 4pm.

"We boarded at 7.50pm, arrived at 10.15pm."

Passenger Tony Robinson told the flight turned around about 15 minutes in.

He said while the jet was ascending there were up to nine orange flashes, banging noises, and the aircraft was "jerking and shuddering".

Mr Robinson told Fairfax it felt like the plane had a handbrake on.After the aircraft had finished ascending, it turned around and headed back to Auckland Airport, he said.

Passengers were panicked and trying to call cabin crew for assistance, but no one came, he said.

But the passenger from the front of the craft said staff had done a good job.

"When we landed, the pilot came down the aisle and asked passengers whether we were okay. He and the crew received a round of applause.

"The two female flight attendants at the front of the plane remained calm, with absolutely no sign of trouble on their poker faces throughout the ordeal."

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