An experienced aviation lawyer says a Sydney to Auckland flight which ‘dropped suddenly’ on Monday bears eerie similarities to a 2008 incident over the Indian Ocean.

LATAM Airlines flight LA800 landed in Auckland Monday afternoon with about 50 injured passengers, some who were flung into the ceiling in a fleeting moment as the plane dipped about an hour before touchdown.

The pilot reportedly “lost instrumentation briefly and then it just came back all of a sudden” a passenger told New Zealand media.

Ten passengers and three crew were taken to hospital. Footage shows bloodied bruised and cur passengers being treated by doctors who happened to be on board.

Director of Brisbane’s Carter Capner Law, Peter Carter, said the incident was “eerily similar” to a 2008 Singapore to Perth flight which had a similar plummet, over the Indian Ocean.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau concluded a rare computer fault caused the Qantas flight QF72 to suddenly nose dive, injuring 119 people.

Aviation and compensation lawyer Peter Carter. Pidure: Supplied.

Terrifying ordeals such as this week’s caused long-term psychological and serious physical injuries, Mr Carter said.

“Just like Monday’s LATAM Airlines flight LA800 accident, passengers on QF72 were flung weightless to the cabin ceiling during the dive, and fell to the cabin floor or on to seat armrests.

“We don’t know yet about how the injuries will affect them in the future.”

Following the QF72 incident the aviation injury compensation liability regime “changed for the better” to allow passengers to claim higher amounts of compensation, Mr Carter said.

“In the 2008 accident, passengers claimed against Qantas, and I was able to negotiate substantial settlements with the airline’s insurers who agreed to waive the then­ maximum damages limit of $500,000 for passengers whose future income earning capacity was severely restricted by their injuries.”

However, in January 2009, Australia joined the Montreal 1999 Convention which pays up to AUD$260,000, Mr. Carter said, for proven losses such as medical expenses, loss of amenities of life and income loss for proven bodily injury.

Now, the airline must also pay for proven losses above that figure unless it proved the incident was not due to its negligence or that of its pilots or engineers, Mr. Carter said.

“So, in that respect there is no longer a limit on compensation, and all passengers on Monday’s flight irrespective of where they live, are able to claim.”

Mr. Carter is investigating a claim for passengers aboard LATAM Airlines flight LA800. LATAM said in a statement the cause of the “strong shake” was under investigation.

Passengers from Australia, Brazil, Chile, France and New Zealand as well as crew were taken to hospital; of those one passenger and one crew member required additional attention, the rest were discharged.

“LATAM Airlines Group’s priority is to support the passengers and crew members of the flight,and apologise for any inconvenience and discomfort that this situation may have caused,” it says in the statement.

Passengers who had been scheduled to carry on from Auckland to Chile were rebooked for a flight on Tuesday.

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