ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Passengers were forced to jump from a moving plane when it made an emergency landing after suffering a mid-air hydraulic leak.
William Robertson was flying home to Aberdeen after his shift ended to see his wife and three-year-old son.
But during take-off from Rotterdam airport, William spotted a red fluid leaking out from underneath the Saab 340’s wing.
And just moments into the flight the captain announced to the passengers that they would have to circle a few times before undertaking an emergency landing.
The Loganair charter flight was diverted back to Rotterdam Airport and was met by emergency services on the ground after the pilot warned air traffic control about a fluid leak.
But even after his “perfect landing” the drama was not over as the plane began rolling off the runway forcing the passengers to jump out of the emergency exit.
William, 44, from Burghead, Moray, said: “I was sitting near the wing and I noticed red fluid leaking out from underneath it during the take-off.
“From working on the oilrigs I knew it wasn’t fuel, so I didn’t panic at the sight of it. ”
“But the pilot announced that there was a hydraulic issue and that he had to circle around Rotterdam and land,” he continued.
“The other passengers started looking around trying to see what was going on, but no one was panicking, people were pretty calm about it.
“It was a beautiful day to have a fly around Rotterdam. We could see the emergency vehicles on the runway as we were circling round, and when the pilot came in to land, I don’t think he could have done it better.
“It was a perfect landing, not even a bump or anything as we touched down.
“When the plane came to a stop the pilot said there was still a problem with the brakes, and a minute later the plane started moving on its own accord.”
“The pilot managed to steer it onto the grass and he had the air hostess open the doors to evacuate the aircraft and we had to jump out,” William continued.
“We didn’t get to meet or thank the pilot afterwards as he was ushered away before we could say thanks. But he did a great job.
“My wife was quite relieved when I phoned her to say what happened and that I would be delayed in Rotterdam until we got a new flight sorted.”
Loganair confirmed that the flight crew chose to return to Rotterdam after a cockpit warning alerted the pilot to a hydraulic malfunction.
A spokesman for the airline added: “The aircraft landed safely at the airport around 4.35pm local time where it was brought to a halt, but subsequently rolled just off the runway due to an issue with the hydraulics.
“All 17 passengers disembarked the aircraft safely, returned to the terminal by bus and a replacement service was dispatched from Glasgow to take them on to Aberdeen.”