By Alex Glenn •
Published: 24 Apr 2022 • 13:07
Traveller Andrew Packham has praised a Ryanair pilot who had to perform emergency measures at Liverpool John Lennon airport after a “flock of birds” hit the engine.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo on April 21, Andrew revealed that he heard a “thudding banging explosion noise.” Speaking exclusively to the Liverpool Echo Andrew explained: “We’d got the slightly delayed flight from Liverpool to Rome and the pilot had opened the throttle and the airplane was literally about two-thirds of the way down the runway. The front wheels were just about to leave the ground.
“There was a slight bang to start off with then within moments there was this massive raucous, shaking, thudding banging explosion noise coming from the left wing. I cannot describe the noise that the engine made with a bird inside.
“The whole plane shook, it was like being on a motorway going at 200 miles an hour and your tyre blows out.
“It was just phenomenal, the noise was phenomenal the braking was phenomenal. It was like being in a fairground ride. If you’ve ever been on [rollercoaster] Rita at Alton Towers, that incredible acceleration as the plane takes off and that incredible deceleration as it stops almost immediately.
“The pilot slammed the brakes on, he did this emergency stop which was the most controlled emergency stop I’ve ever seen. We went from hundreds of miles an hour down to zero in what tiny space was left of the runway.
“And the 300 odd people that were in the airplane were just silenced, and I won’t lie, it was absolutely terrifying.
“Let’s not beat about the bush, it was terrifying. It was only when we’d come to a standstill and we were getting off the plane that you could see people’s legs wobbling when they were realising what could have been, if it wasn’t for the pilot.
“He had to make that call in a fraction of a second because the plane was just about to lift off. If it had lifted off and if it happened a few moments later goodness knows what would’ve happened.”
He went on to add: “The captain was very good, he did come on and explain what happened, it turns out that there was a flock of birds that hit the engine. He made an announcement, saying there might’ve been a fire in the nose cone and then we realised that the approaching fire engines were coming to the plane that we were sat on.
“You cant help but think, ‘oh hang on, are we all going to go up in a big ball of flame here? Are we all going to be toast?'”
Despite the shocking events, Andrew will still fly in the future.
Andrew added: “The thing is, we didn’t have a choice but to fly. But, honestly, it did make for a very nerve-wracking second flight attempt, but it didn’t put us off, one of the cabin crew even said ‘oh this happens from time to time'”.
The Ryanair flight had “suffered a suspected bird strike on take off so the flight was postponed,” according to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The passengers were able to fly later the same day.
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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