A Delhi-bound SpiceJet Airlines flight that took off from Mumbai on Saturday morning was forced to turn back after the pilots detected a snag mid-air.
While the airline said that the crew handled the mid-air emergency according to procedures, some passengers alleged that poor handling led to panic and chaos on board.
According to passengers a scary sound resonated inside the flight soon after it took off. “It”s a kind of sound that your car makes when something is wrong,” said Rony D’costa, a passenger adding that the plane was turbulent and the whirring sound lasted for a couple of minutes.
Soon there was announcement stating that the flight would make an emergency landing. But a series of crew instructions that followed until touchdown allegedly made it a mid-air scare, added fliers.
“First, they asked us to remove the life jackets but soon said to put them back. While one flight attendant directed us to inflate it, another one asked us to flatten it to its original shape,” said freelance writer, Dipti Kharude, another traveller.
Passengers added that heavy east European accent of a flight attendant tasked with the emergency drill only did not help.
Kharude also tweeted her experience. “Telling fliers we don’t know where the plane will land is a sure-shot recipe for chaos,” she tweeted.
The crew members kept pacing up and down the aisle ignored bawling children and some fliers struggling to follow the emergency drill, passengers further alleged.
“Please train your cabin crew. Not reassuring word from them as passengers with kids cried,” read another tweet.
A SpiceJet spokesperson confirmed the incident but did not comment on the passenger allegations.
“Spicejet flight SG 152, Mumbai to Delhi, with 141 passengers onboard diverted back to Mumbai due to failure of hydraulic green system.
The aircraft made a safe and normal landing while following all emergency procedures,” read a statement issued by the airline.
After arriving in Mumbai the airline offered full refund or booking on the same flight on Sunday.
A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said that the incident has come in their records as a routine case of snag-induced emergency landing but it was unaware of the alleged lapses on board.