A PASSENGER who was on a Regional Express Airlines (REX) flight, which had to make an emergency landing at the Mount Gambier Airport this morning, has shared the frightening experience.
Departing Mount Gambier just after 7am, the REX Flight 4612 – carrying 16 passengers and three crew – was bound for Adelaide when an emergency light was activated 17 minutes into the journey.
The flight crew began a descent from 18,000ft as it neared the Kingston coastline.
Phillip Moir was a passenger on the plane when pilots announced the emergency and stated they would be returning to Mount Gambier.
“We were on our way to Adelaide and then they came up with an announcement that they had an engine issue and that we would have to return to Mount Gambier,” Mr Moir said.
“They told us full emergency services would be on standby and to stay calm.”
While the message was to stay calm, Mr Moir naturally started to think of the worst.
“You start thinking about your family and things like that and just start to wonder what is going to happen,” he said.
“The flight crew were fantastic – the young air hostess was very calm and then the captain came on towards the end and told us what was going to happen, which was very reassuring.”
A short time later the plane landed in at the Mount Gambier Airport without incident, where a host of emergency services were waiting.
“The landing was probably a little more anxious than most landings, however the plane seemed fine and it didn’t feel any different,” Mr Moir said.
“It was an interesting way to start the day, but it’s great that everyone’s safe.”
Limestone Coast Police officer in charge Superintendent Grant Moyle said no-one was injured in the incident and there would be no further investigation from a police perspective
“Emergency services responded as per usual and it is an incident we train for throughout the year, so it was nothing unusual for us,” Supt Moyle said.
“Now it is a matter for Rex… we had our standard de-brief after the incident in regards to our response and that went as planned.”
A Rex spokesperson said pilots returned the plane to the Mount Gambier Airport following a “cockpit indication”.
“In accordance with standard operating procedures and checklists, the pilots returned to Mount Gambier as a precautionary measure,”
“Rex Network Operations have accommodated all disrupted passengers on alternative services.”
The next morning flight scheduled for a 10.15am take-off is now expected to be delayed by over two hours.
The Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service, State Emergency Services and ambulance services all attended the incident, however were not required to render any assistance.