A Derry woman has praised Ryanair crew for assisting panicked passengers after strong gusts from Storm Brendan initially prevented them from landing at City of Derry of Derry Airport yesterday.
There have been reports of people praying and crying onboard the 10.35am Liverpool to City of Derry flight on Monday morning after the gusts resulted in the first two attempts at landing having to be aborted, with passengers told over the tannoy they may have to be diverted to Belfast or Dublin.
There were cheers and applause from the passengers onboard however as the pilots managed to touch down safely on their third attempt.
Kloe McNeill had been in Liverpool for a girls weekend visiting friends.
The 21-year-old, who was already a nervous flier, wasn’t aware of Storm Brendan before boarding the flight and was listening to music through earphones to help calm herself when the turbulence began as they approached Derry.
Kloe, who was travelling on her own, said: “You just felt the plane being taken by the wind and there was a message over the tannoy saying we might have to go to Belfast or Dublin.
“The plane went up and round and was coming down along the water again the second time and a big gust of wind took us out again.
“The turbulence was mad and the second time it happened everyone was stuck to the back of their seats and the woman beside me grabbed my arm. She must have been so scared. You could here people getting more anxious as time went on and it felt like such a long time.
“We came down a third time and everyone was grabbing the front of their chairs. When we landed I never heard so many people cheering so loudly. I have never been so glad to get off a plane.”
The turbulence and cheers were captured on videos by other passengers who have shared them to the Derry Journal Facebook.
Kloe said her mother, who was waiting for her outside the airport had also become nervous and had called her several times. “She could feel the win sitting in the car,” she said.
The young Derry woman praised the pilots and cabin crew on the flight for their professionalism in such adverse conditions.
“They were wonderful. They were so calm and were keeping everyone reassured that we were going to be alright and were passing out sick bags.
“The pilots did a brilliant job given the circumstances. Fair play to them.”
And nervous flier Kloe said that following what must have been a terrifying experience, she will probably opt for the ferry next time she goes to visit her friends. “When I do fly again I’ll definitely be checking the weather from now on!” she added.