In a bizarre and terrifying romantic plunge – literally – a young man decided to pop the question to his girlfriend as the passenger jet they were traveling on was plummeting rapidly, thousands of feet towards Earth.
Chris Jeanes and his girlfriend, Casey Kinchella, were on their way to Bali on board an AirAsia flight that had departed from Australia when the aircraft suddenly fell a total of 20,000 feet in just nine minutes. While terrified passengers screamed in terror around them, Chris decided that now was his chance to propose to Casey, just in case they didn’t make it.
Soon after oxygen masks fell from the roof of the cabin, Chris – who had planned to propose to Casey in Bali – told NBC News that he was relieved when the love of his life said yes, despite being in the midst of a harrowing ordeal.
“Luckily she said yes. We both reconfirmed with each other when we were on the ground.”
Jeanes, who works as a lawyer in the London office of the prestigious firm, O’Melveny, described the less than ideal sounds that accompanied his proposal. He says flight crew members were running up and down the aisles of the Airbus A320 shouting “emergency, brace, crash positions.”
No violins or champagne for Casey, it seems. Nevertheless, the couple – now officially engaged after they reconfirmed their promise once on the ground – will forever have a unique story to tell their friends, kids, and grandchildren when they’re asked to recount how Chris popped the question.
For the other passengers aboard the AirAsia flight, the fall from the sky was not as romantic. In fact, it was downright horrific. Some of the video footage recorded by scared passengers has been circulating online. Screams and gasps are heard, as well as aircraft components shaking and vibrating violently.
Oxygen masks can be seen hanging from the overhead compartments in the cabin, while people huddle and hold on to each other in fear.
Some of the holidaymakers who were looking forward to a getaway to one of the world’s most magical destinations even started texting their loved ones as they planned for the worst.
One of the passengers, Leah, told reporters that she had “actually picked up my phone and sent a text message to my family, just hoping that they would get it.” She went on to describe the atmosphere in the cabin.
“We were all pretty much saying goodbye to each other. It was really upsetting. One of the stewardesses started running down the aisle and we thought, ‘why is she running?’ And then the masks fell down and everybody started panicking. Nobody told us what was going on.”
Fortunately, the flight landed safely in Perth, and all 145 passengers were unharmed.
The sudden fall of the twin-engine Airbus A320 was allegedly caused by a technical fault which in turn caused the cabin to depressurize. After plummeting 20,000 feet, roughly two-thirds of the aircraft’s intended altitude – the pilots executed a maneuver to recover suitable and safe pressure and then proceeded to turn back to Perth, the flight’s point of departure.
In a statement released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, officials confirmed that they have already launched an investigation into the incident.
“The ATSB is investigating a depressurization event involving an Airbus A320, registered PK-AXD, 300km north of Perth, Western Australia, on October 15, 2017. During cruise at 30,000ft, the aircraft depressurized. The crew conducted an emergency descent to 10,000ft and the aircraft returned to Perth.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for AirAsia said that its engineers had started inspecting the aircraft to find the source of the fault.
“The safety of our guests is our utmost priority. AirAsia Indonesia apologizes for any inconvenience caused.”
[Featured Image by Apichart Weerawong/AP Images]