Air NZ plane landed as Christchurch earthquake hit

By danwarne, February 22 2011
Air NZ plane landed as Christchurch earthquake hit

An Air New Zealand plane touched down in Christchurch Airport at the exact moment the magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit.

One passenger on the plane, Robbyn Story of Raglan, spoke to Fletch & Vaughan on The Edge Radio Station in New Zealand, and described what it was like as the plane landed into the earthquake.

"It was creepy as... as the plane came down, you could see all the windows in the terminal just rolling, and all the shuttles that go out to the plane were in the tarmac just rolling.

"Somebody shouted out 'oh my god, it's an earthquake!'"

"We came down and couldn't get out, and there was a big shake while we were still in the plane. Then we sat there for an hour.

"We finally got out, but the whole town is just shut down, I don't know if we're going to be able to get out.

"As the earthquake hit, we were touching the tarmac, it was just bizarre."

"As we were coming in and watching the windows rolling, we were like, oh, that's pretty odd... and until someone shouted out 'oh my god, it's an earthquake', people had no idea what was actually happening."

"People were calling their families ... we've got people we're visiting and apparently their house is absolutely wrecked."

"The terminal is a little bit damaged; they won't let us into the terminal. People are just wandering around in a bit of a daze wondering what to do."

"We were going to get a rental car ... but nobody is allowed in. People are milling around everywhere, not knowing what to do."

"Everything's just in chaos."

An Air New Zealand spokesperson could not immediately confirm the status of the flight and its passengers but was investigating following enquiries from Australian Business Traveller.

Further updates

Read more comprehensive coverage of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, plus authoritative advice for travellers in the area and overseas.

Further updates will be posted at and on our @AusBT Twitter stream.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Air NZ plane landed as Christchurch earthquake hit