A father thought he was going to die after his family’s EasyJet flight made an emergency landing.
Dan Taylor, 35, was on a flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia, with his wife, two children and mother-in-law this morning when all hell broke loose at 30,000 feet.
Passengers were told to brace for impact when the plane’s landing gear became stuck – and Dan had to deliver a heartbreaking warning to his seven-year-old son.
He told The Sun: “The plane flew up quite normally but the seat belt signs stayed on. We found that a bit odd.”
“They came and said there was a problem with the landing gear stuck in the down position – and that we had to go back to Gatwick.”
“About ten minutes later they came back on the intercom and said the problem had gotten worse, there was going to be an emergency landing and we needed to prepare for an impact.”
Dan added, “Obviously everyone was panicking — people were crying.”
“Cabin crew walked up and down the aisle, asking passengers to show they knew the position of the braces and making sure the seats were vacant and everyone had their belongings put away.
“The plane kept circling, we were pretty low in the clouds, only about 1200 meters.”
“At this point we have no idea where we are, we can’t see the sky, we can’t see the ground.”
“People texted the family that we were making an emergency landing.
“The kids were upset, the cabin crew tried to keep it together but it was pretty scary.”
“At this point you don’t know how it will end.”
Dan told The Sun how he had to warn his son to prepare for an impact.
He said: “It was awful having to tell a seven-year-old how to do the support position.”
“Cabin crew yelled ‘stop, stop’ all the way to the ground.
“That was awful. You don’t know what impact you will have.”
“When it was converted to an emergency landing, they didn’t tell us the plane was going back to Gatwick.”
Dan added: “Could have been in the field, might have been the sea. My daughter thought we were going to end up in the sea.”
“By that time we had already been in the air for 45 minutes. The plane descended.”
“It was all going through my head: are we going to crash the floor? Get caught in an inferno?”
“Will I be hurt? Will my family be okay? Or will I land well?”
“The landing was awful, it felt like forever. Fire engines were parked all over the runway. We came to a complete standstill.”
“In the end it was actually a soft landing. The chassis was fine.”
Passengers applauded the crew after the plane stalled – and then waited until 4pm for a replacement flight.
Some frightened passengers exited the airport instead of taking to the skies again.
Dan said, “It was messy. There was no news. We weren’t told what was going on for 45 minutes.”
“Then we have just been informed that your flight will depart at 4pm. There are some people who have now left.”
“I spoke to a wedding party and half of them left because they didn’t want to get back on the plane.
“We decided to move on because things like this don’t happen very often.
“The chance of it happening twice is very small. I hope it’s not the same plane. It’s been seven hours.”
“We got a £6 voucher from EasyJet for all of this – after I spent £1,500 on flights.”
EasyJet said: “We can confirm that flight EZY6427 from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik returned from the air this morning due to a technical issue.”
“The captain made a routine landing in accordance with procedures and as a precaution the aircraft was only picked up by ambulance services at Gatwick where passengers disembarked normally.”
“We have done our utmost to minimize the impact of the delay on customers by arranging a replacement aircraft and crew to allow passengers to continue their journey to Dubrovnik and issuing refreshment vouchers at the airport. ”
“The flight has now left London Gatwick and is due to arrive in Dubrovnik tonight.
“The safety and well-being of its passengers and crew is a top priority for easyJet and easyJet operates its aircraft fleet in strict compliance with all manufacturers’ guidelines.
“We would like to apologize to the passengers for the inconvenience caused and thank them for their patience and understanding.”