Passengers - including myself - were relieved to be back on solid ground after an engine on their plane out of Merimbula stopped mid-flight, resulting in an emergency landing at Moruya airport.
REX flight ZL114 was delayed for half-an-hour before leaving Merimbula around 7am on Friday.
It was scheduled for a stopover in Moruya before continuing through to Sydney.
However, what wasn’t scheduled was when an engine warning light came on 10 minutes out of Moruya, indicating a fire in the left engine.
Fire extinguishers were automatically released and the engine was shut down.
Passengers noticed the left-hand propeller stop spinning, a slight jolt and the plane clearly slowing down.
The plane landed safely in Moruya – on one engine - a short time later and all passengers were told to disembark.
Rural Fire Service crews from Moruya and Broulee, and NSW Fire and Rescue crews attended, assessed the situation and left.
Dr Dominic Hill from Merimbula, was travelling with his wife and 11-month-old baby.
He said he felt the plane jolt and slow down, before noticing the propeller wasn’t working.
“I thought the landing gear was going down at first, but then I saw the propeller had stopped,” Dr Hill said.
“I was concerned of course, but I didn’t want to raise an alarm and have all hell break loose.
“I was looking at the stewardess and she was looking at me, also concerned, so I knew she knew.
“I had a fair idea the engine had failed, but my sister-in-law’s a pilot, so I know planes can run on one.
“I leaned forward to prevent my wife seeing the propeller, but it was too late.
“She said, ‘is that normal?’”
Mr Hill said they were very relieved to be on the ground.
Wayne Priddle from Candelo also noticed the propeller stop working, but said he wasn’t overly worried, largely because the flight attendant was calm.
“I thought it was definitely a bit unusual. I was looking at the hostess and she was super cool, so I thought it probably wasn’t a panic situation,” Mr Priddle said.
“I’ve never had anything like this happen and I fly a fair bit, but nobody seems too irate.
“I suppose if you think of all the flights we have, it’s pretty good that there aren’t too many problems in Australia.”
Mr Priddle, who was on his way to Queensland for work, said the worst thing was missing connecting flights.
Steve Holzhauser from Kalaru said he hadn’t been worried when he saw the propeller stop, but he didn’t know at that time the engine had failed.
“I thought it was strange and we also seemed to make a long sweep out towards Batemans Bay,” he said.
“But I’ve been on some dodgy flights overseas, so I wasn’t panicking at all.”
Mr Holzhauser was on his way to Sydney for a meeting, but decided to turn around and head home.
“The meeting will be all over by now,” he said.
A REX spokesperson told the Magnet on Wednesday that engineers inspected the aircraft at the weekend and found nothing of concern.
“Pilots shut the engine down after an indication light came on in the cockpit,” the spokesperson said of Friday’s incident.