Passenger Janelle Wilson told The Australian that the 484-passenger plane was about three-quarters full when turbulence lifted passengers from their seats.
“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving,” Wilson said. “The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited, but thought with absolute certainty we were going to crash. It was terrifying.”
McGuire praised Qantas staff members for their composure and honesty with passengers during the situation.
“The captain of the aircraft got on and told everyone immediately, ‘This is what happened. Relax,’” McGuire said.
A Qantas spokesman told Reuters that Flight QF94, an Airbus A380, had been traveling behind another Qantas Airbus A380 bound for Sydney and that's what caused the turbulence.
Wake turbulence forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. According to Reuters, it's most commonly seen when a smaller aircraft follows a larger jet.