Pilot of Qantas flight 72 explains how he stopped A330 from crashing in Australia

Kevin 'Sully' Sullivan may not be as famous as Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, the pilot who famously managed to land an aircraft on the Hudson River in New York. But, his achievements in the cockpit are definitely on par with his more famous namesake. 

In October 2008, Qantas flight 72 was well on its way to Perth after departing Changi Airport in Singapore.

Just over three hours into the near five-hour trip, the regular, daily flight became anything but.

Forty-thousand feet above Learmonth, the Airbus A330 with 315 people onboard went into two noise dives, falling hundreds of metres towards the ground in just seconds.

Pilot Kevin Sullivan was in the cockpit that day, and in an interview with Three's The Project, Sullivan said he kept his cool despite the fact the nose of the plane was pointing towards the ground below.

"As the pilots, we were pretty confused because we didn't know what the computers were doing or why they were doing it, I knew that it was computer generated because I hadn't done it."

"I hadn't made any inputs into the control stick, the weather was fine, nothing had changed from the time that I sat down to a minute or two later where all hell breaks loose."

Sullivan said the aircraft wasn't responding at all when he pulled back on the control stick, so he decided to let go and perform an old school trick he learned as a navy pilot.

"It's the computers that are moving the control services not the pilot."

He said by letting go of the control stick, when the flight control computer system gives control back to the pilot, the aircraft should level off and stop decending.

Sullivan said he doesn't fly anymore, not because he's scared of flying, but because he never wants to be in a situation which involved so many injured people ever again.

"Things change inside you. For me I wasn't afraid of flying but I was certainly very concerned about having to deal with mass casualties again."

Of the 119 passengers and crew injured, 12 of them were injured seriously, but no one was killed.

Sullivan says technology has made flying easier, but its also made things much harder if the computer systems fail.

The full interview can be watched in the video above.