Britain Airtours Jet Problemsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Monday 12 June 2000
Holiday jet scares for Airtours passengers By Thomas Harding
TWO aircraft from the same charter airline and of the same type were involved in emergencies at the weekend.
In the first of two incidents on Saturday, an Airtours International Airbus A320 dropped more than 15,000ft after losing cabin pressure over the Channel. Earlier in the day, another Airtours A320 made an emergency landing shortly after taking-off from the Greek island of Kos when an engine failed.
Three days earlier, the same passengers were on board the same aircraft when the same engine failed during take-off which was aborted as the aircraft reached the end of the runway. In the first incident on Saturday, the aircraft, which was carrying 151 passengers to Palma, Majorca, dived from 30,000ft to 15,000ft when 20 minutes out of Gatwick.
It returned to Gatwick and made an emergency landing. Passengers were treated for shock and ear drum damage. Mark Doyson, 32, a passenger said: "It was a terrifying few minutes and no one knew what was happening. I had that horrible sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach that you get on a rollercoaster ride. I really thought this was it."
Some holidaymakers said the plane should never have taken off after it was delayed for 15 hours with technical faults at Manchester and London. A spokesman for Airtours, which operates six A320s, said: "The pilot made a controlled descent after a cabin pressure leak."
For the holidaymakers in Kos, the aircraft made three attempts to leave the island. The first ended with the jet braking sharply and coming to a halt yards short of a clifftop after one of its two engines lost power. The 180 passengers eventually arrived in Gatwick late on Saturday night.
-- Rachel Gibson (email@example.com), June 12, 2000