Virgin Australia Jet Gets Rocked by Storm in Queensland

17th Nov 2015

About 30 Virgin Australia passengers and the cabin crew had to endure about 20 minutes of rocking as a particularly severe storm hit the 70-seater jet, spinning it around and blowing it down the runway of the Moranbah Airport in Queensland.

Despite the gust of hail that hit the plane, the pilot managed to correct it after it was tipped.

Virgin Australia issued a statement about the incident, saying:

"An ATR 72 aircraft became destabilized while stationary at Moranbah Airport as a result of an unusually strong wind squall. The aircraft corrected itself and no passengers or crew were injured during the incident."

The statement continued:

"The safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members is always our highest priority and engineers will inspect the aircraft before it resumes operations."

One of the passengers, Glenn Bodke said the wind attack lasted for some time:

"Probably a good 20 minutes I'd say, and then we had to wait the storm out ? it was still raining quite heavy. We had no power ? the power to the plane was out ? so we had to sit in the plane and wait for the storm to go."

A spokesman for the Australian airline later said it would send a relieve plane to Moranbah to rescue the passengers.

Virgin's aircraft was not the only one that was hit by the storm, as two other light planes were also upended.

A forecaster for the Weather bureau Brian James said conditions were ripe for a severe weather like this one.

He said:

"A coastal trough that moved inland a little bit ? an east-west trough ? and there was also another trough that was inland running north-south, so when you get the two troughs, combining often you get good potential for severe storms and that certainly was the case today."