Wednesday, January 30, 2013
A plane carrying 71 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing after taking off from Norwich International Airport yesterday.
The plane, en route from Norwich to Amsterdam, made the emergency landing shortly after it took off just before 6.50am.
Police closed the A140 Holt Road both ways as a precaution while the aircraft landed, but all passengers safely got off the plane. Scott Wylie, from Lowestoft, was one of the passengers. He works for a travel agency in Amsterdam and was able to get the next outbound flight from Norwich to the Dutch city later in the morning.
Mr Wylie said that passengers knew something was amiss about 10 minutes into the flight.
He said: “We were not making any progress and we were told that we might have to return to Norwich airport because of a technical problem.
“There was no drama or panicking on board and we made a particularly good landing.
“In truth this was really a non-event; all passengers remained calm and the crew should be commended for their professionalism.”
He managed to get the next flight to Amsterdam from Norwich, about two hours later, alongside some other passengers.
A Norwich airport spokesman confirmed that KLM’s early morning service to Amsterdam, KL1502, had to return to Norwich after taking off due to a technical problem.
A spokesman said that shortly after takeoff the captain reported a warning light in the cockpit to Air Traffic Control.
As part of its standard procedures the airport initiated its integrated response plan, which includes contacting the local emergency services, who attended the airport in support of the airport’s own emergency services.
The aircraft, a Fokker 70, circled the airfield to burn off fuel before landing as normal and taxying back to stand.
Andrew Bell, Norwich airport’s chief executive, said: “The KLM flight to Amsterdam took off just after 6.30am. The captain indicated a warning light in the cockpit, in the undercarriage. As part of our airport policy, we automatically initiated our integrated response plan, which we did.
“All emergency services from the local area were called, and they arrived at about 7.05am. The aircraft circled to burn off fuel, and landed safely at 7.17am.
“The passengers were disembarked safely. The airport was reopened at 7.34am. The KLM flight has been cancelled. The 71 passengers will be booked on other flights to Amsterdam, either from Norwich or other airports.”
Airport operations manager Richard Pace said there had been a minimal effect on airport operations, with just a few delays,