Passengers praise crew following emergency on flight to Norwich

Passengers travelling on a flight to Norwich during which an emergency was declared has praised the professionalism of the flight crew and ground staff in dealing with the situation.

Passengers travelling on a flight to Norwich during which an emergency was declared have praised the professionalism of the flight crew and ground staff in dealing with the situation.

Christine Kerr, 43 and from Fleggburgh, near Great Yarmouth, was one of the 55 passengers on board the Flybe BE547 flight from Edinburgh to Norwich on Tuesday night when the alert was raised after an 'unidentified smoky smell' was detected by the crew when the flight was about 15 minutes away from Norwich International Airport.

The airport's emergency plan was activated which resulted in 15 fire engines being sent to the airport and a number of ambulances - but despite the activity on the ground Mrs Kerr said passengers were not aware that any precautionary emergency operation had been under way until the plane had safely landed.

Mrs Kerr, who works for a firm of accountants and had been travelling back from a business trip, said she wanted to commend the crew of the aircraft for how they dealt with the situation.

She said: 'Everything was normal. The descent down was a bit bumpy but that was due to the weather. We landed and the first thing we knew of any emergency was seeing the flashing lights and the fire engines.'

She added: 'A crew member then announced that a strange smell had been detected on landing and as a precaution we were being held outside the airport terminal. Then after around 10 minutes we proceeded toward the terminal and disembarked.

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'All of the crew and ground crew acted extremely calmly and professionally. The captain even came out of the cockpit to say goodbye to us all.'

Thirty-one-year-old Tristan Starling, from Clare Close, Norwich, was also on the flight.

Mr Starling, who works for Aviva, had been travelling back from a business trip.

He said: 'We were not really aware of what was happening until we landed. The situation was dealt with very well, very efficiently, and it was all very calm.'

Richard Pace, operations director at the airport, said activating the emergency plan had been a precautionary procedure and that everything had gone according to plan.

A Flybe spokesman said the company was pleased to hear that passengers felt everything ran smoothly.

He said: 'Flybe can confirm that an unidentified smoky smell was detected by the crew on the flight deck of the flight on approach to Norwich airport on Tuesday evening and, as is a normal precautionary measure in such a situation, emergency vehicles were placed on standby.

'The aircraft landed safely and following an external visual inspection by the fire crew in attendance the aircraft taxi-ed to the stand where all 55 passengers disembarked as normal.'

• Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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