On Sunday morning, an #Airasia flight traveling from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia experienced technical issues with the engine that made the #Plane start to violently shudder. The experience was so bad the pilot actually called on passengers to pray – not once, but twice. While severe turbulence on any flight is bad, the #shaking was reportedly far worse.

First a bang, then the AirAsia plane started to shudder

Passengers on board AirAsia X flight D7237 were understandably terrified after there was first a loud bang followed by the whole plane shaking. One passenger described the plane as shaking like a badly loaded washing machine.

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The problem was reportedly with the engine and it forced the plane to turn around mid-flight and head back to Perth.

The flight had originally left Perth at around 7:00 a.m. local time, and ended up landing again in that city at around 10:00 a.m. The AirAsia plane was met by emergency services at the airport as a precaution and marine emergency services had been placed on standby in case of a potential water landing.

According to a spokesman for Perth Airport, the pilot of the AirAsia plane had identified a technical issue with the engine, but gave no further details of the issue. However, the plane landed safely at Perth Airport, where the rather shaken and relieved passengers then disembarked.

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Pilot asks everyone on board to pray

One passenger, Damos Stevens, told CNN that he and his friend Mitch Jamieson were heading to Myanmar for a vacation. He commended the pilot for getting them back to Perth safely.

Stevens described the incident, saying there was a bang and everyone could see the cabin crew was shocked. He said the plane then started shuddering and he actually felt the plane turning around. According to Stevens, the plane shook for the whole around two hours it took to get back to Perth.

ABC News quotes Sophie Nicolas, another passenger on the flight, as saying she was scared when it happened, especially with the reaction of the AirAsia crew of the plane. She said the pilot told them he hoped they would all say a prayer and that he would be praying too, adding that he hopes they all get back home safely.

On arrival at Perth Airport, passengers were told to stay in the “brace position” for around two minutes as the plane landed.

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Stevens said the pilot shook hands with all the passengers after it was all over and the whole plane erupted with applause once they were safely on the ground.

AirAsia said in a statement that the flight had been forced to turn back due to a “technical reason." According to the airline, the plane was carrying 359 passengers and landed without incident. All passengers were transferred to later flights.