Tuesday 20 August 2019

Aer Lingus flight 'was scariest ever', court told

Cassandra Reddin and Aine Maher leave court yesterday
Cassandra Reddin and Aine Maher leave court yesterday

Tim Healy

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.

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

"I did not think any of us would be okay."

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), from Woodlands Manor, Ratoath, Co Meath, has sued the airline over the back and neck injuries she claimed she suffered, including soft tissue neck and back injury and whiplash.

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.

It then did come under control when she thought the captain had taken over from the co-pilot, the court heard.

"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 painkillers. She said her crew were "fairly shook", particularly Cassandra Reddin.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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