A woman has described the terrifying moment she was woken by friends telling her there was a problem with their plane – before a “burning smell” filled the cabin.
Heather Forgie, 45, and friends Lorna Rosie and Judith Birkhead, both 48, were flying back to Aberdeen via Paris from a holiday in Italy when an emergency was declared.
When the trio, from Insch, heard their plane was going to make an emergency landing in Edinburgh due to a “control issue” affecting the brakes, they feared the worst.
They claimed the captain told passengers the plane was diverting to Edinburgh as the runway at Aberdeen was too short for a safe landing – although airport bosses have denied that played a factor.
Mrs Forgie said: “The crew told us there was a flight control issue and we couldn’t land in Aberdeen.
“Then they told us that there was a problem with the brakes and the Aberdeen runway just wasn’t long enough.”
After touching down in Edinburgh, passengers were told to stay on board – despite a burning smell filling the cabin.
Emergency services raced to the plane, with firefighters checking the brakes. Mrs Forgie added: “We were able to leave the plane at around 11am but we were on board for some time while firemen checked over the brakes.”
Passengers were eventually put on a bus to Aberdeen and arrived home late yesterday afternoon.
The trio had been travelling on HOP flight AF1272.
A spokesman for the airline said: “The crew handled the situation in accordance with the procedures of the company and the manufacturer by diverting to Edinburgh, the nearest airport, where it landed normally.”
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen International Airport said the flight was diverted due to a “technical fault only” and said the flight’s handling agent, Dalcross, had yet to disclose any further information.
She said the airport’s airside operations team denied any claim the diversion was in relation to runway length.