We were told: ‘Get off the plane, get off the plane now’

We were told: ‘Get off the plane, get off the plane now’
The emergency over wing doors opened and the slide down on the the Aer Lingus plane which was directed back to Cork Airport after reports of a smoke in the cockpit. Picture Dan Linehan
  • Liz Flynn from Kanturk was travelling to London with her son Darragh. 

A nervous passenger, she was still shaken in the airport afterwards.

“We got a terrible shock. About 20 minutes into the flight the lights went out in the cabin and we suspected something was going on but we didn’t know for sure. Then the captain told us were turning around with a technical issue.

Liz Flynn and Darragh Flynn (11) from Kanturk in Cork Airport after their flight made an emergency return to Cork.
Liz Flynn and Darragh Flynn (11) from Kanturk in Cork Airport after their flight made an emergency return to Cork.

“We came down very, very fast. It was totally different to a normal flight, we came down so quickly. We were near the front so we got out the front steps but there were others who exited over the wing.” 

11-year-old Darragh agreed the descent was frightening but he had bounced back by the time they reached the terminal. As they queued to find out what would happen next, Liz was keen to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services.

“The emergency response was brilliant. I had a window seat and I could see they were there ready and waiting, they were brilliant."

  • Mary Wynne from Ballincollig was travelling alone to meet friends and found it a frightening experience.

“It was desperate. We were in the air half an hour and he made the first announcement to say ‘we have a problem in the cockpit’ and then he said we had to go back to Cork. When we landed we started to get up to gather bags but we were told to stay seated and then we were told ‘get off the plane, get off the plane now’."

"I nearly died, I am travelling on my own and it was very scary. I was near the back and came down the steps but others came down the exits over the wings. It was an awful shock, I was a bit dazed after it. Aer Lingus were excellent, they are being very good to us. And the pilot was brilliant, he got us back safely but it was very scary."

“I got out my statue of Padre Pio and said my prayers.” 

  • Midleton native Pat Burke, who was on his way to London for a connecting flight to Doha in the Middle East, said there was panic and confusion aboard the aircraft.

“It was a bit of a panic.” “We didn’t know if it was a fire or an electrical fault that caused it and that caused a bit of confusion.” However, he said that the response of the emergency services ensured everyone’s safety.

“They’ve done their training and they dealt with it well and made sure everyone was safe,” he said.

“On our own we’re probably easy enough to deal with but when you have 140, 150 people on a plane, you’re going to have a bit of panic.

“It is a bit of an inconvenience but the important thing is everyone is safe,” he added.

“My connecting flight probably won’t hang around to collect me.

“I’ll have to get a camel or something,” he laughed.

  • US native Bill Wilkinson and his family from North Carolina were travelling to London to catch a connecting flight to New York.

“Our plans got messed up big time,” he said.

“We’re just hoping to get out tonight, tomorrow, sometime soon.

“We’re ready to go home.

“I fly a lot but I guess it was a little scary,” he added. “We didn’t really get a lot of information.” 

“We just turned around, landed abruptly and the fire department came and rushed us off the plane.”

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