Flybe staff praised as flight lands in Belfast with only one engine working
A passenger on a Belfast-bound Flybe flight that declared an in-air emergency yesterday has praised the airline's captain and cabin crew.
Claire Ronald, a frequent flyer from Scotland, was travelling on Flight BE122 from Glasgow to Belfast when the pilot declared an emergency and shut down one of the plane's engines.
Three fire engines, as well as the Coastguard and police, rushed to George Best Belfast City Airport yesterday morning awaiting the plane's arrival.
It is believed that a technical fault caused the captain to take the decision.
Ms Ronald was travelling to Northern Ireland for business.
"We were just into the flight and there was a kind of bump," she told the Frank Mitchell show on U105.
"From where I was sitting you couldn't see, but from the other side you could see that one of the engine's had stopped.
"But the plane was flying fine. The captain came on and spoke to us. The crew were also very good at walking up and down while chatting to people, saying there was nothing to worry about and that the plane could manage fine on one engine.
"They were discussing which airport it was best to fly into, the City or Aldergrove, so my only thought at that point was that if we were to fly into Aldergrove it would delay me in getting to work."
Ms Ronald added that the plane circled for around 10 minutes before hitting some turbulence on the descent into Belfast.
"Your palms were a little bit sweatier than normal, but honestly it was as smooth a landing as we've normally had.
"It came down very smooth and that's down to the captain being a very good captain and knowing exactly what to do in that circumstances.
"The crew were absolutely fantastic at keeping everything calm. They were speaking to people who looked a little bit anxious but I obviously looked calm enough because they didn't feel the need to speak to me!"
Larne's RNLI volunteer crew along with Bangor and Donaghadee lifeboats were sent to the scene but were stood down shortly after 9.30am.
A Flybe spokesperson said: "Flybe can confirm that the above flight landed safely at George Best Belfast City Airport following a technical fault that resulted in the captain electing to shut down the number one engine as a safety precaution.
"The pilot followed all required procedures and the aircraft landed safely without further incident. As is standard procedure, the aircraft was met by the airport's emergency service vehicles. All 69 passengers disembarked as normal when the aircraft arrived on stand.
"The safety of its passengers and crew is the airline's number one priority and the airline apologises for any inconvenience experienced."