Passengers have been left shaken and a flight has been forced to turn around after powerful winds caused “wild” turbulence on a Jetstar plane.
The aborted flight from Auckland endured turbulence that was so severe, passengers were left airborne in their seats.
New Zealand’s South Island was hit by wind gusts of up to 150km/h throughout Monday evening, with multiple airlines unable to land planes in Queenstown.
An 18-year-old passenger who was on the Queenstown bound flight spoke of how the plane’s descent in those winds made “all hell break loose”.
“Everyone was just screaming and throwing up on the flight,” Dylan Steele told the New Zealand Herald.
“I was next to the wing, so I was looking out the window and all I saw was the wing flapping like a bloody feather.
“It was just wild, I have never experienced turbulence that bad in my life. It felt like a rollercoaster ride.”
Mr Steele revealed that the turbulence got so bad, he started saying his goodbyes to loved ones.
“All I could hear was the sounds of people being sick and that was with headphones on.”
“Everyone was just pretty shaken up and shocked,” he added.
Jetstar has issued an apology to affected customers, with flights across several airlines also impacted by the winds.
“Aircraft are designed to withstand turbulence far more severe than is ever encountered and pilots and crew are well practised and trained to manage turbulence,” an airline spokesperson said.
“We sincerely apologise to customers for the disruption to their travel plans due to strong winds affecting Queenstown.
“Our teams are working to get customers to their destination as quickly as possible, however safety is our first priority.”
Flights are generally delayed from taking off or landing if winds reach 65 km/h, however some passenger jets have been seen landing in winds of 90km/h.