A JetBlue Airbus was sent careening wildly through the skies for fours after a mechanical meltdown. The 155 people on board the Las Vegas to New York flight were left terrified as the A320 aircraft lurched from side to side and went into steep turns after its hydraulic system failed. Travis McGhie, a passenger on the Sunday afternoon flight, said: 'It was four hours of hell.'

Another passenger, Tom Mizer, told the New York Post: 'People were getting sick. Some people were throwing up. There were a lot of people getting nauseous.' They said that crew members of Flight 194 'did everything they could to prevent panic', with one attendant walking down the aisles trying to reassure people.

Mr Mizer said: 'She said "Look at me, I'm smiling. If I was scared, you would know it. If I'm not scared, you don't need to be."' Mr McGhie added that there was no screaming, but 'there were definitely people reacting out loud'. He said: 'The plane kind of felt out of control. It wasn't able to balance itself, and the air was choppy.'

The pair, both from Brooklyn, said they realized something was wrong with the aircraft as soon as they took off from Las Vegas airport. Mr Mizer said: 'You could hear a screeching - an obvious mechanical screeching. We were bouncing around a lot.

'People on board got a little freaked. People were upset. 'Nobody was crazy, but everyone was upset. It became a long, sort of very tense waiting game.' A pilot soon declared an emergency and radioed air traffic controllers to tell them that they had lost two hydraulic systems.

But as the plane contained five hours' worth of fuel, and the A320 cannot dump the excess, the pilots had to circle the area until they had burned enough to land safely. The plane landed at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport at 7.37pm where the flight had taken off.

The aircraft had to be towed to the gate because the front wheels had stopped working. Another plane was made available to take passengers to JFK. The flight left at 10.13pm from Las Vegas and landed at 5.59am local time in New York.

The Federal Aviation Administration has started an investigation into the incident. JetBlue said in a statement: 'JetBlue takes all incidences seriously, and the safety of our customers and crew members is our No. 1 priority.

'The actions the crew took in response to this event truly represent who we are and our core value - safety.' It is the latest in a long line of embarrassing incidents or accidents to hit the company. In April, a plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Westchester County Airport, New York after two geese smacked into its windshield.

Pilots were forced to ground the craft - an Embraer 190 - after hitting the birds shortly after takeoff.

A month previously, another plane was forced to make an emergency landing mid-flight after an argument broke out between two women.

The Boston-to-Chicago flight was carrying 86 passengers when it diverted to Buffalo, New York, over bomb-threat fears.

A family with two young children were also kicked off another flight after a pilot refused to fly when their two-year-old daughter had a tantrum.

Toddler Natalie Vieau kicked up a fuss as her parents and older sister Cecilia, three, boarded a flight to Boston after enjoying a winter vacation in the Turks and Caicos.

In September last year a JetBlue pilot was facing weapons possession charge after a gun was found in his bag during a screening at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Also in 2011, passengers onboard a flight from JFK to Aruba had to return to the airport after a 'very big bird', believed to be a turkey, was sucked into the Airbus A320's engine.

But most infamously is the incident involving pilot Clayton Osbon, who suffered a midair meltdown on March 27.

Osbon, 49, who lives near Savannah, Georgia, had to be physically restrained after running through the cabin yelling about Jesus and Al-Qaida during a New York to Las Vegas flight.

Passengers are now suing him for his actions.