Thursday 29 September 2016

'It was the scariest flight ever... I did not think any of us would be ok' - colleague of flight attendant suing Aer Lingus

Published 11/11/2015 | 18:18

Cassandra Reddin (left ) and Aine Maher leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts
Cassandra Reddin (left ) and Aine Maher leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts
Cassandra Reddin leaves the High Court after her action for damages. Photo: Collins

A COLLEAGUE of a flight attendant who claims she was injured during an alleged "heavy landing" of an aircraft told the High Court it was a flight she will never forget.

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“It was the  scariest flight ever", Aine Maher said. 

"I did not think any of us would be ok,” she said.

She was giving evidence on the second day of former flight attendant Cassandra Reddin's case for damages against Aer Lingus over the landing at Dublin of a flight from Malaga in November 2009.

The airline denies her claims.

Ms Maher was also working as a flight attendant on the same flight which, it is claimed, landed in a  heavy, dramatic fashion with an alleged inappropriate and excessive rate of descent.

Ms Reddin (33), Woodlands Manor, Ratoath, Co Meath, has sued the airline over the back and neck injuries she claimed she suffered.  She says she suffered soft tissue neck and back injury, whiplash and that afterwards she had nightmares where she woke up screaming.

She has claimed there was an alleged failure to adequately supervise in terms of the landing of the plane by a co-pilot.

Ms Reddin told the court passengers were screaming and duty free in overhead baggage smashed and alcohol poured on passengers during the landing.

In her evidence, Ms Maher said  the Airbus 320 was swaying from side to side and she thought the aircraft would come off the runway as it landed.

“It was like control had been lost . There is no way that aircraft landed in normal fashion,” she said.  The aircraft bounced, she said.

Ms Maher worked the next day  but then went out sick with back pain and was sent for physiotherapy.

Ms Maher said when she looked down the right side of the plane there was liquid pouring from where the oxygen masks are deployed and there was a very strong smell of alcohol.

The senior crew member on the day, Karen Fagan, also told the court that during the landing it felt like the plane was out of control.

She said she was moments from stepping  up to an emergency situation where she would tell passengers to get into the crouch position.

She added: “The plane bounced several times. The plane was swerving. I have never experienced a landing like it or since.”

She said she had great faith in the Aer Lingus cockpit crew  but she felt the plane when  landing was not under control control.  It then did come under control when she thought the captain had taken over from the co pilot.

“Passengers were standing, it was a horror, the aircraft was swerving," she said.

She said a passenger later complained of neck pain and asked for a painkillers. She said her crew were ”fairly shook,” particularly Cassandra Reddin.

The hearing continues.

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