AirAsia plane engine fails minutes before take-off at Indonesian airport

The plane returned to its gate after passengers heard a loud bang at Juanda International Airport

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Passengers were ordered off an AirAsia aircraft yesterday when the engine failed, just minutes before it was due to take off.

While the aeroplane was taxiing at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia a loud bang was heard that horrified passengers, according to Indonesia’s Metro TV.

The aircraft was able to return to its gate where the 161 passengers disembarked to wait while the engine was repaired.

Passenger Yusuf Fitriadi said: “The plane was ready and moved, but suddenly a loud sound was heard, the sound of the engine disappeared and the plane moved backwards. We were shocked and panicked.”

Mr Yusuf then said that when the airline said the flight was to go ahead, 90 per cent of passengers refused to get back on board.

It is the latest incident to hit the troubled airline following the presumed crash of its flight QZ8501.

Sunu Widyatmoko, chief executive officer AirAsia Indonesia said: "The captain has fulfilled the standard operating procedure by making the decision to Return-to-Apron in order to ensure operational safety.

"Further checks were completed by our engineering team according to their standard operating procedures. After the final check was completed, the aircraft was released to fly about an hour later.  Despite of the sensationalised coverage, there were no safety issues and the aircraft landed safely in Bandung," he added.