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Emergency landing for Glasgow bound Flyglobespan flight


Terrified passengers on a flight from Florida to Glasgow Airport claim that they saw one of the plane's engines 'explode' at 4000ft, before the plane made an emergency landing. The Flyglobespan Boeing 757 was rocked by a series of bangs, with flames leaping from an engine, minutes after take-off from Orlando Sanford. It was then forced to circle for two hours before making an emergency landing.

The flight took off at 18:30 Florida time on Wednesday evening and was due to arrive at Glasgow Airport at 08:40 yesterday. It reached 4000ft when passengers report flames burst out of one of the two engines. The passengers felt the plane shudder and struggle to climb.

The plane was forced to circle above the airport for almost two hours to burn off fuel before making an emergency landing. The 162 passengers on board were badly shaken when the plane finally landed on a runway carpeted with foam and surrounded by emergency vehicles. They then endured a further 15 minute ordeal as firefighters delayed moving in while they checked the plane was safe.

A Flyglobespan spokesman said: 'The Sanford to Glasgow flight had to return to Sanford Airport shortly after take-off, when the pilot detected a possible technical problem. There was an engine surge, which they think is the result of exhaust gases over-combusting.'

'It did not knock out one of the engines. It was like a car backfiring. The passengers might have thought it to be more than it was. It may give the impression of blowing up, but the engine did not blow up.'

'The pilot felt he could not fly the Atlantic with one engine so he circled for a while, radioed that he was heading back to Sanford, dumped some fuel and landed. It was a precautionary landing. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.' The passengers have been staying at an airport hotel for the past two nights and were due to fly home on a chartered plane this morning.

The airline suffered two similar incidents on flights from Canada last year, and in October it had a licence suspended amid concerns about its operations. The airline's ETOPS licence, which lets airlines fly over large expanses of water with two engines, was removed, making them the first firm in 15 years to face such action from the CAA. Flyglobespan said it was due to a problem with subcontractors. The licence was reinstated in early November.

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