Air France plane makes emergency landing in Goose Bay after engine blowout over Atlantic
An Air France plane en route to Los Angeles from Paris made an emergency landing Saturday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., after one of its engines blew out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Passengers on the Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in the world, tweeted pictures of the damaged engine. The plane had left Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris Saturday morning.
According to transmissions from air traffic control, the plane landed safely in Goose Bay Airport at around 1:40 p.m. local time with part of the engine cowling missing, scattering debris across the runway.
Passenger Pamela Adams said things were going “as normal” for the first six and a half hours of the flight.
“I was doing some yoga stretches and suddenly it felt like we had run into a jeep in the middle of 35,000 feet high,” she told CBC News. “It did not sound like an explosion as much as it sounded like an engine malfunction.”
She said she was “jostled” and the plane dipped slightly “but the pilots recovered beautifully.” Then an announcement was made saying the plane would be diverted to Goose Bay, where it landed about an hour and a half later.
“There wasn’t the panic that I would’ve expected,” she said, adding that the competency of the pilots may have helped keep people calm.
Passenger Sarah Eamigh told CBC News she was terrified after hearing a “boom” and then feeling the plane descend quickly.
“The cabin started vibrating. Someone screamed, and from there we knew something was wrong,” she said, adding that the trembling stopped about 10 minutes later. “We saw the cabin crew walking through the aisles quickly, and we heard an announcement from the captain that said one of our engines had an explosion.”
She said it wasn’t an extreme panic on board, but passengers were “white-knuckling” after the drop. Like Adams, she said the crew kept everyone on board calm.
After touching down, the plane was met by fire crews on the tarmac in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but they weren’t needed. The debris had to be cleaned up before Runway 26 could be reopened.
Adams said passengers sat on the plane on the tarmac for two hours before receiving a meal, and were getting anxious without official word on what they would be doing, and when. Eamigh said they were told Air France was working on sending another plane for them, but weren’t told when, and would be remaining on the plane for the near future.
“It looks beautiful outside, just seems that the airport wasn’t ready or equipped for this kind of landing or this large of an aircraft, for sure,” she said, chuckling.
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