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New Zealand officials give update after Boeing horror flight injured 50

Simon Calder’s Travel

New Zealand officials said they will seize the cockpit voice recorder and data recorder of a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 after a horror flight incident that left more than 50 people injured.

The airline and passengers aboard the Sydney-Auckland flight on Monday said the plane with 263 passengers and nine crew members on board dropped abruptly mid-air.

One person is in a serious condition while the rest suffered mild-to-moderate injuries, a spokesperson for Hato Hone St John, which treated roughly 50 people at the airport, said. “The plane, unannounced, just dropped. I mean it dropped unlike anything I’ve ever experienced on any kind of minor turbulence, and people were thrown out of their seats, hit the top of the roof of the plane, throwing down the aisles,” passenger Brian Jokat told the BBC.

“My neighbour who was in the seat two over from me, there was a gap in between us, as soon as I woke I looked and he was on the ceiling and I thought I was dreaming,” Brian Adam Jokat, a Canadian citizen residing in the UK who was travelling on the plane, said on Tuesday.

Photos taken by Jokat after the incident showed damage sustained to the ceiling of the airplane where he said fellow passengers had hit it.

A view of the damage sustained to the ceiling of the airplane

(Brian Adam Jokat via REUTERS)

The New Zealand accident investigator said Chilean authorities had confirmed they had opened a probe into the flight, and it was assisting with their enquiries.

A spokesperson for TAIC said because the incident occurred in international airspace it fell to Chilean accident investigation authority Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) to open an inquiry.

LATAM is based in Chile and the flight was due to continue on to Santiago after stopping in Auckland.

“TAIC is in the process of gathering evidence relevant to the inquiry, including seizing the cockpit voice and flight data recorders,” the New Zealand agency said, referring to the so-called “black boxes” that will provide more information on the flight’s trajectory and communications between pilots.

The LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane that suddenly lost altitude mid-flight

(AFP via Getty Images)

DGAC said in a statement it was working with TAIC on the investigation.

LATAM did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it had given the black boxes to…

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