Crash landing trauma after after storm winds hit plane

Richard and Helen were among the passengers on board the ill-fated flight, all of whom walked away unhurt
Richard and Helen were among the passengers on board the ill-fated flight, all of whom walked away unhurt

A Kinross-shire businessman who was aboard the plane that crashed landed in Amsterdam last Thursday has told how he’s lucky to be alive.

Richard Philp and his wife Helen were among the passengers on the Flybe plane whose landing gear collapsed as it tried to land at Schiphol Airport in storm-force winds.

They heard the pilot shouting ‘May Day, May Day’ as the cabin was filled with the smell of burning.

The couple, from Milnathort, were on their way to a conference in Rotterdam when they got caught up in the terrifying ordeal.

An investigation is still being carried out into the incident, which happened as Storm Doris ripped its way through Europe.

The flight took off from Edinburgh Airport on Thursday morning following a delay of around an hour-and-a-half caused by bad weather.

“It was very windy but the flight was fine until we got to the Dutch coast”, said Richard (57).

“We could see massive waves and could feel the wind buffeting the plane.

“The pilot told us we would have to circle for 15 minutes before we could land and the turbulence was very scary.

“People were really upset because the wind was blowing us sideways and we were desperate to get down safely.

“But the wind was still hitting us broadside on.

“The pilot tried to level the plane up but had no control over it and the whole of the undercarriage was whipped out within a split second.

“The plane then slid along the runway and we heard the pilot shouting ‘May Day, May Day’.”

Richard said that surprisingly none of the 57 passengers panicked, even though by now the cabin was filled with a powerful smell of burning.

“We didn’t really have time to react,” said Richard.

“Passengers were more worried when we were up in the air because the turbulence was so bad.

“The cabin crew were screaming at us to get off and leave our belongings behind.

“About six or seven fire engines turned up but we were left standing on the runway for an hour-and-a-half in storm force winds before three coaches turned up for us.

“Some passengers had left their jackets on board and were going into shock because of the cold.

“We were taken into a holding area and all we were given was a bottle of water and a Snickers bar.

“It was a very traumatic experience and we’re lucky to be alive.

“The fuel tanks had burst so the plane could have become an absolute inferno.”

Richard and Helen eventually made it by train to Rotterdam for the conference and flew safely home to Milnathort on Monday.