Air New Zealand panics after false emergency declared on board

  • Air New Zealand, Boeing 787, paint problem

    air new zealand

    IATA/ICAO code:
    New Zealand/ANZ

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport

    Foundation year:

    star alliance

    greg foran

    New Zealand

On Friday, passengers flying over the Pacific Ocean woke up in a panic when oxygen masks suddenly fell from overhead compartments. The Air New Zealand plane was on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland when the masks appeared and the cabin speakers declared an emergency.

Fake or not, the panic was real

The incident occurred on Air New Zealand flight NZ5, operated by a ten-year-old Boeing B777, registration ZK-OKQ. The B777-319(ER) departed Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 10:07 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17 for the twelve-hour flight, although it landed 40 minutes earlier, arriving at Auckland Airport (AKL) at 05:05 a.m. on Friday.


The New Zealand Herald reported that one of the passengers, Morgan Kelly, said it was in the middle of the night when the cabin lights flickered on. She told The Herald that oxygen masks fell from above and a loudspeaker began to blare: “This is an emergency, this is an emergency, put your mask on.”

Another passenger, Jakob Carter, told 1News that everything had been fine until they encountered some turbulence over Rarotonga. [Cook Islands] in the early hours of the morning. He told channel 1news:

“We had some turbulence, it wasn’t that bad, but all of a sudden the lights went out, the oxygen masks fell off… people started freaking out, it was pretty scary.”

He said passengers were confused and worried and kept their masks on for about 20 to 25 minutes. At that point, the captain said over the loudspeaker that there was nothing wrong with the plane and that people could remove their masks. Somewhat contradicting that, an Air New Zealand spokesperson told The Herald that there was an incident on the flight, adding that the captain and manager of inflight services kept passengers informed with an announcement about two minutes after they were placed. the masks. “We are also in the process of reaching out to customers on the flight to apologize for the disruption,” he added.

The Air New Zealand B777 was over the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the night when the false emergency was declared, with three hours of flight to go. Data:

Avoiding turbulence was the culprit

Capt. David Morgan is the airline’s chief operational integrity and safety officer and current 787 pilot. In a statement, he said the oxygen masks automatically deployed when the aircraft descended from 34,000 feet (10,360 meters) to 27,000 feet (8,230 meters). meters) to avoid turbulence. “During this descent, an automated emergency alert was activated asking customers to put on their oxygen masks.”

“We are sorry for the alarming wake-up call on this flight. This was not an emergency situation and oxygen masks were not required. While our cabin crew and pilots worked quickly to reassure everyone on board, we know it was distressing.” for our passengers. customers.”

Like most of Air New Zealand’s B777 fleet, this plane spent almost two years on the ground due to the pandemic. According to, his last commercial flight before landing was on June 30, 2020, when he operated flight NZ124 from Melbourne Airport (MEL) to Auckland.

It then lay dormant until re-entering service on 8 February 2022, picking up where it left off with a service from Auckland to Melbourne. The first international return was on February 14, when ZK-OKQ operated NZ1010, a flight from Auckland to Los Angeles via Christchurch (CHC). Since then, it has flown a steady stream of international flights to Australia and the West Coast.

False alarm or not, this must have been terrifying for the passengers. Have any of our readers experienced something similar?

Sources: NZ Herald,

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