Passengers got a wild ride when Qantas flight QF94 from Los Angeles to Melbourne encountered severe turbulence.

QF94 passenger Janelle Wilson told The Australian the “three-quarters-full” plane suddenly entered a “free-fall nosedive … a direct decline toward the ocean” for about 10 seconds.

“It was between 1½ and two hours after we left LA and all of a sudden the plane went through a violent turbulence and then completely upended and we were nose­diving,” Wilson told the newspaper on Tuesday.

“We were all lifted from our seats immediately and we were in a free fall. It was that feeling like when you are at the top of a roller coaster and you’ve just gone over the edge of the peak and you start heading down.

“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nose-diving. The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited but thought with absolute certainty that we were going to crash. It was terrifying.” – Fox News

No injuries were reported.

The pilot of the aircraft has issued a statement…

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Qantas Chief Pilot, Captain Richard Tobiano, denied the plane had “plunged” and said turbulence was not as dangerous as passengers thought.

“The turbulence lasted for about ten seconds and caused the nose of the aircraft to pitch up slightly. The ‘plunge’ that a few passengers have described was actually the A380 immediately returning itself to a steady state.”

Mr Tobiano said aircraft were designed to fly level and if turbulence disturbed an aircraft, it would adjust — including returning to the right altitude.

“QF94 performed exactly as it was supposed to in this scenario and so did its highly-trained crew. The total movement in pitch was about three degrees,” he said. – News.com.au

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

Qantas Flight Airbus A380-842