Terrified Tui passengers describe flight’s emergency landing following ‘loud bangs’ and turbulence

·2-min read
Tui plane (Getty Images)
Tui plane (Getty Images)

Passengers onboard a “really scary” Tui flight from Manchester airport have described a journey during which “loud bangs” could be heard mid-flight and people were thrown from their seats before the plane made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.

Flight TUI BY216 had been delayed by an hour when it departed for Cape Verde on 27 June just after 10.30am, but took off smoothly.

However, a “technical issue” saw the Boeing 767 jet spend several hours circling the skies over Manchester before being able to return to the airport.

“After about 10 minutes of flying we heard two enormous bangs and when I looked out the window I saw something orange fly past. My wife thought it was a bird,” passenger Leslie Driver told the Liverpool Echo.

“Kids were screaming and people were panicking, it was really scary. When I saw how the two air hostesses looked at each other, I knew something wasn’t right.”

Mr Driver added that, while the plane circled over the Peak District National Park, Wrexham and Merseyside, turbulence was “really bad”.

“There was one really bad bit where everybody was thrown from their seats,” he said, adding that the pilot and crew were “fantastic” throughout.

The pilot sent an emergency 7700 squawk code to indicate they would be making an emergency landing, but was forced to keep circling for around two and a half hours to burn off fuel so that the aircraft wouldn’t be too heavy to land.

It touched down without incident at 1.12pm and was met by emergency services, though Mr Driver says no passengers required medical attention.

Tui said in an email sent to passengers: “We’re really sorry for the disruption to your flight today, we appreciate this will be disappointing. Your aircraft was serviceable and took off as expected, however shortly into your flight the captain encountered a technical issue with the aircraft.

“The safety of our customers and crew is paramount and we had to make the difficult decision to turn back to Manchester Airport. Due to landing restrictions, the captain had to circle the aircraft for some time to be able to burn fuel and land safely back into Manchester.”

The airline has arranged a new flight, with hotel accommodation and £15 food vouchers provided for affected travellers.

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