Highly automated: An AirAsia Airbus A320 passenger aircraft
Highly automated: An AirAsia Airbus A320 passenger aircraft

AirAsia plane forced to turn back a week after crash

AIRASIA downplayed an incident that saw one of its planes turned back before take-off in Indonesia, a week after another of its jets crashed into the Java Sea with 162 on board.

Indonesia AirAsia flight 7633 was taxiing in preparation for take-off at Surabaya airport, where last week's doomed flight also took off, when a power unit used to start the plane shut down, an airline official said.

As a result, the pilot turned back to the gate, Raden Achmad Sadikin, director of Safety and Security at Indonesia AirAsia, told reporters.

Local media in Indonesia and Malaysia had reported the Bandung-bound plane's engine had cut out after emitting a loud bang that terrified passengers, but AirAsia stressed it was a minor incident.

"It's not that the engine failed. The plane wanted to take off but the APU (auxiliary power unit), which is the equipment that helped to start the engine, suddenly shut down," Mr Sadikin said.

Read more at ABC News