Passenger Says ‘Goodbye To Family’ After Plane Suddenly Plunges 20,000ft And Oxygen Masks Drop



There was mass panic on board an Aegean Airlines flight from Greece to Barcelona this week after the plane hit some turbulence and suddenly plunged 20,000 feet.

The plane had left Thessaloniki with 156 passengers and six crew at 12.30pm on Monday (3 July), but disaster struck less than an hour into the journey, with oxygen masks dropping and people screaming.

You know the panic is real when even the cabin crew are in tears and preparing for the worst. 90s pop star Chesney Hawkes and his wife Krissy were on board the flight, with the 51-year-old describing the scene:

We thought we were going down.

Our ears hurt and babies were crying. The pilot came over the loudspeaker and said, ‘Emergency descent — brace’.

One of the stewardesses was in a foetal position on the floor trying to get a mask on while also trying to talk to us over the intercom.

The plane was rattling and banked so steeply we looked out and could see the sea. We thought we were going into the water. Krissy and I looked at each other and hugged.

Passengers were so sure they were going to die that they began calling their loved ones to say goodbye. Hawkes adds:

We left a voice message on the family WhatsApp group. We were both crying and told the kids how proud we were of them and how much we loved them.

There was no other information. The stewards were crying and everyone around us was hysterical.

Then suddenly the plane stopped rattling and the descent slowed.

In the end, the plane didn’t have to make an emergency landing, but diverted to Naples in Italy instead (I think everyone just wanted the flight to be over at that point):

The stewardess said we would be making an emergency landing.

Everyone was terrified again. People had their arms and legs braced against the seat in front of them. In the end the landing was OK, if a bit bumpy.

There was a massive cheer — I cheered louder than when the Hammers won the Europa Conference.

Hawkes even managed to get a selfie with the heroic pilot who steered them to safety:

Nothing like a near-death experience 30,000 feet in the air to make you appreciate life, I guess. Obviously turbulence is no big deal in general and you get some on most flights, but when you suddenly drop 12,000 feet and see cabin crew in the foetal position, it’s probably time to panic.

Aegean Airlines put out a statement confirming that another plane was later dispatched to take passengers to Barcelona:

Aegean Airlines would like to inform that flight A3 560, departing from Thessaloniki to Barcelona, with 156 passengers and 6 crew members, was diverted to Naples airport following a gradual decompression during cruise.

The captain following procedures requested to divert into the nearest airport and all passengers were safely disembarked.

Another aircraft has already been dispatched to ensure passengers can continue their journey to their final destination.

All’s well that ends well.

For more traumatic airline moments, click HERE.



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