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MEP in no hurry to repeat plane scare

MEP in no hurry to repeat plane scare

Fife MEP Catherine Stihler said she was terrified when the plane she was on suffered engine failure this week.

The mid-air drama unfolded as the Labour politician travelled back to the mainland from Shetland on Thursday evening.

The plane had landed at Kirkwall on Orkney to pick up more passengers but was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off again.

One of the engines on the twin-engine aircraft had failed.

“I noticed the engine I was sitting beside was off and thought ‘that’s not good’,” said Mrs Stihler. “Then we were all told to get into the brace position because we would be having an emergency landing.”

She added: “When the plane was turning to return to Kirkwall airport we were over water which was quite scary.

“It all felt like it was taking a lot longer than it probably was.

“We landed and everything was okay but it’s not something I would like to repeat again in a hurry.”

Mrs Stihler said the incident was the first of its kind she had experienced in 16 years of flying.

“Everyone was quite shaken afterwards but we managed to get another plane to Inverness,” she said.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get back on but I didn’t have much option really and everything was fine this time.”

The 32-seater plane, operated by Loganair on behalf of Flybe, was full at the time of the drama.

Mrs Stihler praised all of the staff involved who, she said, had been “fantastic”.

“I had never been to Orkney before and I didn’t think I would be in Kirkwall airport twice in such a short space of time!” she said.

“It was a bit of a shock and not something I’d like to be involved in again.”

Afterwards, the Aviation Safety Network posted on its website: “A Saab 340B aircraft, operated by Loganair on behalf of Flybe, landed safely at Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, UK, following the in-flight shutdown of the left hand engine.

“The flight involved was BE6938 from Sumburgh Airport, Shetland Islands, to Inverness, Scotland, via Kirkwall.”

The MEP had been invited to Shetland by the local council to look at their digital work.

She visited a fish auction, a cultural centre and a college where she was shown video conferencing and other digital technology.

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