Mid Air Emergency- Air Asia Pilot asks for Prayer – Not Good Enough

This week’s weird moment has to be on Air Asia D7 237 which developed engine trouble 90 minutes out of Australia’s Perth International airport. Prayer is a feature if most human religions. In many an emergency, some non-believers have suddenly discovered a higher being and prayed for rescue, or salvation. While the plane began shaking violently,  the pilot specifically asked passengers to pray twice.

I believe in the power of prayer but this seems to be the oddest way of reassuring passengers. Compare this to the calm Pilot on Qantas 32 in 2010, when his Airbus 380 shredded one of its four engines tearing a hole in the wing.

On top of this, people have reported that the Air Asia cabin crew were showing fear. This is the time when the are supposed to keep their heads, instruct people in the safety processes and help people evacuate if and when needed.

More on the shaking plane:

People keep telling me I overreact to safety fears with airlines. I am sorry, I do not agree. When I am 38,000 feet above sea level in a plane that is shaking, I want a pilot who calmly tells me that they are fixing the problem. A pilot who has completed enough safety check and tests to reassure me all is safe.  Almost all of the Air Asia sister companies regularly score badly for safety:

Ironically, in this case, the carrier was AirAsia X which has the highest safety rating. Sunday’s example confirmed for me, that when I have a choice, an airline with a good safety record wins over any other option.

a close-up of a document




The plane is an Airbus A330-343 registration number: 9M-XXE  which has been flying since 

To top it off? When they landed, all Air Asia did was hand them a $20 voucher and direct them to queues in order to re-book.


Definitely weird and just Not Good Enough, Air Asia.

Each week, I scour the internet for something weird or wonderful that has happened in travel land. if you come across anything weird or wonderful that I should be mentioning, please let me know! My Twitter handle is martinjcowling


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  1. American Airlines flight diverted due to mechanical problem.
    June 22, 2017

    Three Allegiant Air flights suffered engine problems in March. A March 19 Allegiant Air flight out of the Orlando-Sanford airport may have flown up to eight minutes with a fire in its right engine after a fire-suppression system failed to extinguish it. Six days later, pilots on a different Allegiant flight that departed Sanford-Orlando with 159 passengers and crew declared an emergency after a cockpit warning light indicated a fire on their right engine. Then on March 30, a third Allegiant flight declared an emergency when one of its engines would not produce full power during a climb.

    A United Airlines Airbus 319 plane approaching takeoff on a flight from Denver to Reno went off the runway due to a mechanical problem. Sept 2016

    United Airlines Flight 1721 was on its way to Kona International Airport in Hawaii when it turned around and made an emergency landing. Apr 2017

    United Airlines Flight 2001, scheduled to depart to Chicago, opted not to take off while on the runway and diverted to the taxiway after an indicator alerted the pilots to a possible mechanical problem. March 2017

    American Flight 534, bound from Columbus, Ohio, to Phoenix, made an unscheduled landing in St. Louis at 8:14 a.m. for a security check. The Airbus A319 with five crew members and 113 passengers was cleared to resume its flight to Phoenix, but the airplane then developed a mechanical issue. Feb 2017

    Qantas Flight QF10, which left Dubai International at 1.05am, was already three hours into its flight to Melbourne, Australia when a ‘mechanical fault’ was detected. The pilots reportedly had to shut one of the engines down while the plane was flying over Indian Ocean. The airline diverted the flight to Singapore’s Changi International Airport. Feb 2017

    Wow! Even Qantas has issues.

    I could go on and on, but you get the point. Every thing mechanical will fail at some point. Why? The second law of thermodynamics, or the law of increased entropy, says that over time, everything breaks down.

    Just because you had a bad experience on an Air Asia flight does not imply the airline is unsafe.

    In August I will be taking 6 flights (12 landings and takeoffs) on Air Asia. If I survive, LOL, I’ll give you a full report. Just to be fair and balanced.

  2. David Hall, I think the point of the blogger is on how this Air Asia’s pilot handled the situation not on the safety record. However, professional response in the face of emergency does reflect the training standard and hence could probably be linked to the safety standard. That’s why the example of Qantas case was raised.

  3. Did you read my post David? All airlines have problems. That’s not the issue. There are two concerns here: 1. The lack of professionalism of the pilot which was the focus of this post. I don’t think it was good enough and 2. Air Ratings, the independent evaluator of air safety’s recommendations which I list. If I was to choose between Qantas pilot handling of an incident and Air Asia, I know which I would choose. I have flown Air Asia many times. I don’t personally like what I have seen of their attitudes to safety and I don’t like their treatment of their customers. I will no longer fly them. I hope you have pleasant flights with them in August. For the record, I won’t fly Allegient. Airline ratings gives them 5/7

  4. Yet the blogger again raises the issues regarding the safety ratings of Air Asia in particular. And Qantas just had another flight this week make an emergency landing. Ratings are, well, over-rated.

    Safety rankings will always generate headlines because of mankind’s innate fear of flying. When we look at regional statistics, the ability to generate multi-year moving averages off the back of huge volumes of data allows us to meaningfully assess comparative safety performances. For individual airlines, however, the statistics are deficient.

    The trouble with airline safety rankings is simple: the law of averages does not come into force with limited air crash data. No matter how canny a report’s methodology, it is impossible to collect a sufficiently large data pool on any one airline to assess its track-record. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), only one in every 4.4 million jet flights resulted in a hull loss in 2014. In order to know whether a given airline has historically performed above or below this incidence rate, researchers would need to look at hundreds of millions of flights by the company. Attempting to do that is futile even for the very largest, oldest carriers; it is a complete farce for small or newly established ones.

    Paul Hayes, safety and insurance director at Ascend, said:

    “Joe Public wants to be told that he’s flying on the safest airline in the world, but realistically no-one can give you that comfort. It’s a case of lies, damned lies and statistics. The problem is that when you look at individual carriers, no airline in the world is big enough to suffer loss of average. If you had hundreds of millions of flights and thousands of accidents, then you could do very robust statistics. But accidents are so incredibly rare that even huge airlines like Delta can’t suffer one incident in five years and still be average.”

    Professionalism? The passengers are just along for the ride, so it’s the pilot’s call. If he felt a prayer request was in order…then I’m praying and encouraging those seated near me to join in prayer.

    Guess what? It worked! The Air Asia flight landed safely, no one was injured and all walked away.

    Every military or commercial pilot will tell you, “Any landing you can walk away from…is a good landing.

  5. Airline Ratings are not over rated! And they do not just use the averages. It is just one criteria:
    1. Is the airline IOSA certified?
    2. Is the airline on the European Union (EU) Blacklist?
    3. Has the airline maintained a fatality free record for the past 10 years?
    4. Is the airline FAA endorsed?
    5. Does the country of airline origin meet all 8 ICAO safety parameters? The most important one for me

    and the two bonus questions:

    1. Does the airline operate only Russian built aircraft?
    2. Has the airline’s fleet been grounded by the country’s governing aviation safety authority due to safety concerns?

  6. Criteria cited by Airline Ratings is limited, fallible and/or subjective. The report reveals some interesting flaws.

    Tanzania’s FastJet received an ignominious three stars out of seven. The pan-African low-cost carrier launched in 2012 with backing from Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of EasyJet, a man who knows a thing or two about running airlines. Though the company’s main operating base is in Dar es Salaam, it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and its management team are mostly western expatriates. FastJet has never suffered a crash nor anything approaching one. But because it is not listed on the IOSA safety registry maintained by IATA – an unsurprising omission given that, like most low-cost carriers, it is not a member of IATA – it receives a low safety rating.

    Daallo, another African carrier, fared even worse. The fact that Somalia’s Civil Aviation Authority does not control its own airspace – instead relying on Air Traffic Control services provided by the United Nations in Kenya – may have been a factor. An attempted hijacking in 2009; a former Soviet-built fleet (now modernized with western jets); and an EU ban will also have done it no favors.

    But beyond these tick-box criteria, Daallo has managed to avoid any fatalities during two decades of civil war in Somalia, one of the world’s most unstable countries. That is a far greater achievement than flying aircraft without incident through European or American skies. It speaks to the airline’s above-average performance at risk-mitigation, and the two-star rating is nothing short of an insult.

    And that is why you can safely ignore airline safety ratings.

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