Did AirAsia Flight Crew Panic During Loss of Cabin Pressure?

Yesterday, multiple news outlets reported that AirAsia Flight QZ535, Perth Australia to Bali Indonesia, experienced a cabin depressurization during flight.  For those of you who have never experienced it, oxygen masks deploy and the flight crew descends to 10,000 feet in the safest manner possible.  CNN is reporting that the flight attendants looked ‘tearful and shocked’ during the descent.  The report also said that the flight ‘plummeted’.

Data from Flightaware.com shows that the flight descended 20,000 feet in 10 minutes.  To me, as an aircraft mechanic, this is more than enough time to get to a safe altitude.

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To say that the airplane ‘plummeted’ is sensationalism at best.

AirAsia CEO, Tony Fernandes, took to Twitter to refute claims that his crew was unprofessional.

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Final Word

This story should not be about the crew ‘panicking’ but that the were able to get the aircraft under control and return it safely to Perth.  Great job to the crew for doing what they were trained to do.  Also, good job Mr. Fernandes for standing up for your employees.  This is an instance where the Citi Prestige trip delay benefit would have been useful.

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