AirAsia crew 'increased oxygen mask panic'
AirAsia Indonesia cabin crew shouted inappropriate commands to passengers including "crash position" during a depressurisation on a Bali-bound flight from Perth, which added to panic, the air safety watchdog says.
About 30 minutes into the October 2017 journey, crew initiated an emergency descent in response to the depressurisation but some oxygen masks did not deploy and passengers felt they were not receiving oxygen.
Some then moved around the cabin to find a functioning oxygen mask, but cabin crew shouted commands such as "brace" and "get down", increasing confusion and panic.
The plane returned to Perth Airport and landed safely.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a report on Wednesday that the commands were inappropriate.
It also found the pre-flight safety briefing and safety information card did not include a clear instruction on how to activate the flow of oxygen from the masks, and advise that the bag may not inflate when oxygen is flowing.
"This incident highlights that an important aspect of managing abnormal passenger responses is the cabin crew's ability to recall and use appropriate standard commands," ATSB transport safety director Dr Stuart Godley said
"Passengers generally responded well when appropriate commands were used, but incorrect commands resulted in some confusion and panic among in the cabin."
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