Wheel falls off jet carrying golf freebie politicans
Politicians from the Republic of Ireland who took part in a four-day, all-expenses-paid golf trip to Turkey narrowly avoided disaster when a wheel fell off their plane as it landed.
Senator Donie Cassidy, TDs Phil Hogan and Noel Grealish and Leinster House worker John Flaherty were unaware of the danger until the plane attempted to land in Istanbul at the weekend.
The pilot managed to keep the plane under control, despite losing one of the front wheels as the plane approached the runway at Istanbul.
The Seanad leader and his colleagues were taking part in a golfing weekend as guests of the Turkish government.
Mr Grealish yesterday said they knew nothing of the drama until the plane hit the ground.
"We were on an internal flight from Antalya to Istanbul to get our connecting flight back to Dublin," he said.
"As we were coming in to land, one of the front wheels seemingly fell off the plane.
"It was a very scary landing. The emergency services eventually came out and we had to disembark the plane in the pouring rain while the situation was surveyed."
Mr Grealish said that none of the 170 passengers or crew were injured in the incident but they were extremely frightened when they realised the danger they had been in.
"It could have been a major tragedy if we had lost the other wheel or if it had given way when the plane landed," he said.
"The pilot didn't know anything until he hit the ground when the vibrations came through the plane and the front wheel struggled to hold the weight of the plane.
"Then the braking system started giving trouble, but thankfully the pilot was able to control the plane.
"Thank God the plane stopped and there were no injuries or fatalities."
The four were in a luxury resort at a special golf event organised to mark the 90th anniversary of the Turkish grand national assembly.
Source Irish Independent