Although most flights take off and land without a fuss, a Cebu Pacific pilot had the difficult task of manning an Iloilo-Davao flight through extreme weather conditions on 3 Oct.
Also read: 8 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Plane Rides
Capt. Jacquilyn Chua had to power through Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 721, which bound for Davao from Iloilo at around 5.30pm that fateful Thursday afternoon. Panic quickly rose in the cabin when violent turbulence shook the entire aircraft midway through the flight.
Of course, Chua was not alone in the arduous task of landing passengers to safety. With her, in control of the aeroplane, was First Officer Ver Joseph Poblete. Both were celebrated and deemed heroes online in a post that went viral thanks to netizen and Flight 721 passenger, Kemberley Pasinag Victorioso.
“Maybe it’s the end of all of us…”
In a public post on Facebook, Victorioso made her and her fellow passengers’ gratitude known.
“ALL I CAN SAY TONIGHT IS, THANK YOU GOD FOR OUR SECOND LIVES!
All of us were shaking and trembling as we had experienced a terrifying flight way back from Iloilo to Davao. Heavy rain and strong turbulence we experienced made us think that maybe it’s the end of all of us,” said Victorioso, who posted the status shortly after landing.
Victorioso recounted that all passengers feared for their lives as the extreme turbulence continuously pulled the plane downwards. She added that it had come to a point where passengers would scream every time the plane experienced turbulence. According to the netizen, what was originally a 51-minute flight ended up being around an hour and a half because of challenging flying conditions. It seemed that the two Cebu Pacific pilots also had to deal with zero visibility at several points during the flight.
Upon landing, Capt. Chua emerged from the cockpit and the cabin broke into applause — to which the Cebu Pacific lady pilot responded, “Para sa inyo, of course, safe flight parati.”
Phew! We’re glad the hundreds of passengers aboard Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 721 are safe and sound. Can you imagine being on that flight? As travellers, we don’t think much of it, but we should remember that we owe safe and convenient passage to the pilots and cabin crew we meet along our journey. Hats off to Capt. Chua, First Officer Poblete, and all the modern-day heroes who bring us to greater heights and #maketravelhappen!