Four pm Spanish time and we were in the Reus airport waiting to go home. We had really enjoyed ourselves in the sun, compared to wet and dreary Northern Ireland but we were really looking forward to getting home and seeing our family again. We had only been there about an hour when we were asked to go to the departure lounge. I thought this was great. We would be in the air promptly and I would see my friends before nightfall. We where flying with Monarch Airlines and we could see the plane over the horizon. As it was landing all that was in my mind were thoughts of home.
The people were getting off the plane and they were rushing for the baggage reclaim. We could see our luggage being transported onto the plane and watched as it was being refuelled. As I took a look around I could see there were no engineers examining the plane. As we settled into our seats the Captain of the plane announced that we would be taking off within the next ten minutes. I was seated at the window, my sister next to me, my mum on the aisle and my dad in the next row. As the plane was powering up I became very nervous. The engines roared and it shot like a bullet along the runway and into the air. I looked out the window and watched.
The airport became just a speck in the distance and I knew we were finally heading home. The cabin crew came along selling headphones for the televisions and I bought a pair and waited to see what was coming on. The TV sets came down but to my surprise they went back up, All the sets were doing this, up then down again and again. The cabin lights flickered and a cold mist came out of the ceiling, I thought this was very strange. We all knew by now something wasn’t right. Then the Captain’s speakers came on and he said in a frightful manner “could the cabin crew come to the cockpit for a briefing” I knew this was not normal.
The speakers came on once more the captain saying, “I am sorry but we will have to return to Reus airport”. My heart started to pump faster. As he said that, the plane went over to the side. I looked out of the window and the ocean was like a magnet pulling the plane down. The Captain pulled back up again and the plane was going the opposite direction. I could see the airport that was just a spec and now was a safe-haven. The plane started its descent to the airport. As I peered out of the window the runway was getting closer. Then the right engine failed. I thought this was all right because we were almost on the ground.
As I turned my head further round the window I saw fire engines and ambulances rushing down beside the plane. My hands gripped onto the arm of the chair like a vice on a piece of hard metal There were children crying but I couldn’t, all I could do was watch the sky. The back wheels of the plane touched down and I held my breath for the final wheel touching the ground. As it did it was like Velcro sticking to the runway. The wheels screeched on the ground and the plane went off to the right and we came to an abrupt halt. Everyone on the plane was silent and all that could be heard were sirens.
One man on the plane started demanding his baggage. Then the Captain announced that we had to go to the departure lounge. Anybody that was a smoker had started smoking on the plane. As we waited in the departure lounge all we were given was a free sandwich and a free drink. We were in the airport for two hours when a thunderstorm occurred. All I could think of was “it could only happen to me”. Then around an hour later the Captain came into the airport and announced that when we took off we had sprayed half our fuel supply over the runway. It was due to a burst fuel pipe and that was why we had such a bad landing.
We were in the airport for a total of seven hours when we could hear a faint sound in the air. All the people came to the windows and looked out. In the distance we could see our new plane coming towards the airport through thunder and lightning. It looked like a superhero coming to our rescue as everybody cheered. As we got on the plane everyone was nervous. We went down the runway and into the air again. As this was happening you could almost hear everyone’s heart beating. As we touched down in Belfast International Airport everyone cheered once more and the pilots wished us all a safe and happy onward journey.
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