Jetstar pilot applauded after white-knuckle landing at Wellington Airport


A Jetstar passenger said she “felt like the plane was going to drop out of the sky” as a pilot made a second hairy attempt to land at Wellington Airport.


Flights in and out of the capital have been heavily impacted by a weather bomb which has hit over the past 12 hours, bringing heavy rain and gusts in excess of 100 kilometres per hour.

Sydneysider Kristy Carstairs took a video of her Jetstar flight’s second attempt at landing from Auckland on Thursday morning.

Jetstar flight

The Jetstar flight from Auckland to Wellington normally takes about 47 minutes but it took two attempts to land on Thursday.

“The first time we tried to come into land, it felt like the plane just about dropped out of the sky and that’s when [the pilot] decided to pull back up again.

“Having a big drop like that when you’re over the water is a little bit nerve-wracking.”

Conditions were so poor, the pilot told passengers he would only be able to make one further attempt to land. If it was unsuccessful, the flight would have to return to Auckland.

Carstairs, who was only in the capital for the day, said it was a harrowing experience.

The weather bomb has brought with gusts of 100 km an hour and heavy rain to the capital.

“I work in tourism and I travel a lot, so flying generally never bothers me, but my heart was in my throat.”

Carstairs said the loudest noise of all was the applause the captain received after successfully touching down in Wellington.

“It was a bit scary, but the pilot was very good so I shouldn’t complain,” she said.

Air New Zealand said three international flights in and out of Wellington have had their travel plans affected on Thursday morning.

A spokeswoman said as many as 170 passengers who were bound for Sydney have had their flight delayed, due to high winds.

“High winds have caused significant disruption to both domestic and international flights into and out of Wellington this morning,” she said.

“While flights are beginning to resume, our operations teams is focussed on getting our schedule back on track and is unable to provide specific numbers regarding the total number of passengers affected at this time.”

A Jetstar crew member on an early-morning flight from Auckland was heard telling the airport control tower that “I think I need a cup of tea and a lie-down” after their plane came in to land but was forced to loop back around because of wind shear.

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