Pilot urges prayers as 'technical issue' forces flight to turn back


AirAsia X Berhad engineers are taking precautionary steps to check the aircraft forced to return to Perth after it started shaking violently on a trip to Kuala Lumpur.

WA marine rescue services were put on alert after an Air Asia flight experienced a "technical issue" mid-flight and was forced to turn back to Perth airport this morning.

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.

"We were asleep and heard a loud bang around the 1-hour-and-15-minute mark", passenger Damien Stevens told CNN.

One passenger told ABC News the plane was "shaking like a washing machine". We could see the engine out the window which was really shaking on the wing. Twin-engine aircraft like the A330 are created to fly and land safely with only one engine operating. The plane shook for almost two hours while the plane flew back to Perth, according to CNN. Images were posted on social media showing the extent of the damage.

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AirAsia is investigating the incident, but says there is no indication it was an engine issue.

The airline suffered its first fatal incident in December 2014, when AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashed in stormy weather off Indonesia with 162 people on board. No one was hurt.

Passengers were reminded of safety procedures and they practised the brace position for landing during the journey back to Perth. The pilot shook hands with all of the passengers after the flight was over. "It was the left engine, engine one".

"Of course we were a bit anxious but at the end of the day ... we safely landed".

"It was really shaky, very scary", Stevens said.