Virgin plane forced into emergency landing
18 January 2005
BRUSSELS – A Virgin plane bound for Nice was forced to make an emergency landing back at Brussels with just one engine, it was reported on Tuesday.
The Monday flight 304 took off at around 11 am carrying 85 passengers.
A Virgin spokesperson said that less than 15 minutes into its journey “the pilot saw a signal showing him there was a problem with an engine. He decided therefore to cut that engine and to turn round and return to Brussels. It was a hydraulic problem.”
The Belgian daily La Derniere Heure talked to rally driver Francois Duval, who was on board and on his way to the Monte-Carlo Rally.
“We heard a bang,” he told the paper.
“I wasn’t too worried, but my neighbour told me he’d seen flames. I lost two kilos in sweat. We all thought we were going to die.”
A lawyer on board said he heard “a series of small noises like explosions.”
“We must have been above Liege when we turned round,” she said.
“Everyone remained calm. There was no panic, but the service from Virgin was zero. We weren’t given any explanation.”
“When we landed we had to remain in the plane for them to repair it. Then they had us all get out. We would have liked a bit more consideration.”
Passengers were flown out to Nice two hours late, which in the case of the lawyer meant he missed an appointment.
He said he had to insist before she got her money back. “To start with they only wanted to reimburse for the outward bound flight,” he said.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news