Sydney-Auckland flight drops mid-air

A sudden mid-air drop during a flight from Sydney to Auckland has left around 50 people injured.
flight drops mid-air

A sudden mid-air drop during a flight from Sydney to Auckland has left around 50 people injured.

The plane was bound for New Zealand, where passengers were scheduled to disembark for a connecting service to Chile.

Most of the affected Latam Airlines passengers sustained minor injuries, but several were taken to hospital, including one person who is in a serious condition.

Transport authorities are investigating the incident. Here’s what we know so far.

Mid-air flight drop

263 passengers and 9 crew were travelling on a Sydney-Auckland Boeing 787 flight late yesterday.

About two hours into the three-hour flight, Latam Airlines said those on board felt a “strong shake” caused by a “technical problem”.

Passengers have described being thrown to the roof of the plane during a sudden mid-air drop.


Paramedics were called to Auckland Airport to treat injured passengers when the plane landed.

At least 12 were taken to hospital, including four Australians. At least one of those people was seriously injured.

The connecting flight from Auckland to Santiago, Chile was cancelled, with most passengers re-scheduled onto a later service.


Latam Airlines announced the incident was “under investigation” but didn’t provide further details of what it called a “technical” issue.

Under international rules, Chile’s aviation officials are required to investigate the incident.

New Zealand authorities are collecting evidence to help the inquiry, including voice recordings from the cockpit and flight data recorders.


The incident happened on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing’s website describes the 787 as an industry leader, “dramatically improving air travel experience”.

Boeing is a publicly listed company on the U.S. stock exchange. The price of its shares fell 3% after news of the Auckland flight incident broke.

Separately, Boeing’s 737-9 Max was internationally grounded for three weeks after a door flew off during an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.