Video: AirAsia Flight Turns Back After Engine Issue Causes 'Scary' Shaking

The captain urged passengers to pray as the airplane shook “like a washing machine” for two hours.

Pilot urges prayers as 'technical issue' forces turnaround

There was a loud bang and the plane started shaking. It went on for two hours. That's when the pilot asked everyone to just pray.

Posted by CNN on Sunday, June 25, 2017

For the third time in two months, an aircraft powered by a Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine was involved in a serious incident. The latest occurred on Sunday as an AirAsia X flight from Perth, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur was forced to turn back after a "technical issue" caused the Airbus A330-300 to shake "like a washing machine," according to passenger reports.

A significant question outstanding is whether the vibration problem occurred with just one of the Rolls-Royce engines on the A330 or both. If the vibration was focused on only one engine, investigators will be asking why the crew didn't shut down the bad engine and fly the aircraft on the one remaining since it is capable of single-engine flight. Unconfirmed reports indicate the flight crew did shut down the vibrating engine, although how long the incident lasted according to passengers seems to conflict with the crew's report.

Passengers shared video of the incident across social media platforms, and while some can be seen (above) smiling and laughing, the ordeal was serious enough that the plane's pilot twice asked passengers to pray. According to one passenger, who shared his story with CNN, the plane "erupted with applause" upon the "smooth" landing, and the pilot made sure to shake each passenger's hand after the airplane was parked at the gate.

The airline issued a statement on Monday morning regarding the investigation into the cause of the "technical issue."

“The safety of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance to us,” the company wrote. “We are currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident together with our engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. We are also cooperating fully with the local aviation authorities.”

While this is third incident involving a Trent-powered aircraft since May, it differs in that the aircraft's engine reportedly featured no external damage. Earlier this month, a China Eastern Airbus A330 leaving Sydney for Shanghai experienced an engine problem that resulted in a large hole in the forward inboard cowling. In May, an Egypt Air Airbus A330-200 flying from Cairo to Beijing experienced engine failure during takeoff, and it also resulted in a large hole in the cowling.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will release its report on Sunday’s incident within several months.