A Co Armagh family has praised the calmness of a flight crew after their plane landed at Dublin Airport amid a fleet of fire appliances.
Caroline McCotter was with her two sisters and a neice, returning from a family holiday, when the drama began mid air on a flight from Portugal.
The Portadown woman described overhearing an air steward on the 10.25pm Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon last night (October 14) saying that they had smelt smoke.
“I was on seat two and close to the cabin crew. I heard one of the stewards saying something about detecting smoke.
Caroline was with her sister Pamela Matthews who had just retired and was treating her family to a long weekend break in Portugal.
Both Pamela and her other sister Sandra Durand are nervous flyers, so Caroline was reluctant to reveal to them or her neice Alexandra Durand what she had overheard.
“We were all very tired and weary as it was a late flight and we weren’t due to land until 1am,” she said.
“It all started about 20 minutes before our descent into Dublin and I heard the flight attendant saying that they had smelt smoke on board the aeroplane.
“I have no idea if it was someone having a cheey smoke on board the flight or something more sinister,” said Caroline.
“I wasn’t about to tell my sisters as they are nervous enough about flying,” she added.
“As we were coming into land the pilot explained that smoke had been smelt on board but he said it very calmly and no one was panicking.
“We were kept on board for around 10-15 minutes and there were lots of fire engines on the tarmac.
“Then we all calmly disembarked and went to the waiting buses.
“My sisters were all grand about it but it was early in the morning and everyone was just glad to get home,” she said.
An Aer Lingus spokesperson said: “Aer Lingus flight EI487 ( Lisbon to Dublin) landed safely at Dublin Airport early this morning just before 1am. Following the detection of a technical issue with the aircraft the flight deck crew requested the presence of emergency services as a precaution upon arrival. All guests and crew safely disembarked as normal from the aircraft.”