Oh dear, ’tis August and silly season. Seems northern UK isn’t the place to run a low fare airline. Poor old honeymooners Liz and David Garratt were returning from their dream holiday to Rome, which was trashed when, according to the Manchester Evening News, they say their Jet2-com plane ‘surged’ back into the air just before touch-down.
The wicked pilot did a precautionary go around when reaching Manchester Airport. Apparently there was a separation issue, an Airbus A380 had recently vacated the runway. Trust me, the invisible trails that leaves in the air COULD possibly be fairly brutal to another airframe. Such as the one the lovebirds were sitting in.
Given the *could* nature of the event, the pilot sensibly opted to abort the landing and make another attempt for a safer approach. Which means climbing back up into the air.
Which scared seven kinds of you know what out of the honeymooners, completely annihilating the week of sun and fun they’d had – erasing it from their memories. You can see in the picture below why I love my peers in the news photography industry so much sometimes. Nothing staged about this image :)
They are both ‘regular fliers,’ they told the paper, and were ‘terrified’ and ‘mystified’ about what had happened. In truth I experienced those emotions last time I had a colonoscopy, but opted to trust the doctor performing the procedure to have had the requisite years of training to know what he was doing.
I’m being a bit harsh though since Liz, 54, a freelance marketer from Glossop, is quoted as saying: “We were about 200ft from the ground when there was a loud shudder and the plane took off again at full power.”
So she obviously realised the pilot was performing the procedure correctly.
She continued, “There was a gasp around the cabin and there was no information until we climbed out so we didn’t know what was going on – it felt urgent and frightening.”
Again, she’s cottoned on to the safe airmanship displayed.
Fair enough, the event could have been upsetting to lots of people on board, especially those who didn’t understand what was happening – but to call the paper afterwards…
They are lucky b*stards I say. I’ve only ever been fortunate enough to be in three go arounds on commercial airliners. Funniest was going into Friedrichshafen for the airshow a few years ago. Captain was well aware he had a plane full of airheads going to the show, so explained in reasonably graphic language how the Piper that wasn’t supposed to be on short finals at the time was responsible for our extra time in the air!
I nabbed the story from the Manchester Evening News via a friend on Facebook. Click for the full story and picture of the couple looking suitably disgruntled….
Looks like Liz and David will only be holidaying at home or places they can drive to in future. Liz said, “When we rang the airport they said it was common place. If this is common place I will never fly again.”
David, 49, a property developer, added: “All we wanted was a proper explanation, an apology and acknowledgement for how afraid everyone in the cabin was.” A Jet2.com spokeswoman said “ We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this routine procedure.” I so wish she hadn’t.
An apology for ensuring everyone is safe? What next, someone suing the airline for ensuring its aircraft are airworthy before taking off with passengers on board. Well, um, yes, actually…
Manchester really isn’t a lucky spot for the airline. A local sued it for grounding an aircraft due to a fault with a fuel line. The passenger (not named in the paper as an aviation mechanic or engineer of any sort) got pissed off at a 27 hour delay. That’s understandable – he had his family with him and was stuck in Malaga for an extra day. But, he said, “technical faults were ‘inherent in the running of an aircraft’ and should therefore not be considered an extraordinary circumstance.” The delay was caused by a wiring defect in a fuel valve circuit.
I dunno about you. I hear some scary stories about airlines cutting maintenance costs in order to keep flying to increasingly tight schedules at lower prices. I’d still ALWAYS rather pay the extra fare than take a risk on getting into a potentially unsafe machine. And fares will go up for stupid reasons if there are a flood of spurious compensation claims. Which in turn could force carriers to make cost savings elsewhere….