UPDATE: VS43 passenger describes experience as ‘quite traumatic’

Passengers leave flight VS43. Picture contributed by Cathy Christian
Passengers leave flight VS43. Picture contributed by Cathy Christian

A passenger described the traumatic experience of being on flight VS43 - whilst still awaiting to leave the aircraft.

Cathy Christian, 26, from Blackpool, said she found the whole experience traumatic, but described the landing was one of the smoothest she has experienced.

Cathy Christian took this photo from flight VS43

Cathy Christian took this photo from flight VS43

The Virgin Atlantic flight departed Gatwick bound for Las Vegas this morning but after a technical fault had to turn back and circled for several hours before landing safely.

Cathy, who travelled to Gatwick yesterday by train, told this newspaper: “Yes it was quite traumatic as I’m not the best when it comes to flying.

“Pilot and staff did an amazing job however. Landing was probably one of the smoothest I have experienced.

“They kept us well informed all the way through the flight.

“We had to do the emergency landing and all had to take the brace position. Still on aircraft waiting to get off as they have a safe procedure to get everyone safely off the plane.”

The passengers have now left the plane and Cathy sent us a picture of them leaving (above).

The plane had been circling for over Sussex and Kent for around three hours.

Nobody is believed to have been hurt.

A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic confirmed that flight VS43 landed safely back at Gatwick.

“Our priority now is to look after our passengers and crew.”

The plane’s pilot and crew have been praised by people on social media who have been tracking its path.

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: “Plane landed safely. Emergency services are in attendance to ensure the passengers can disembark safely.”

A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) was alerted to a potential incident at Gatwick Airport today (December 29) involving an aircraft which was forced to make an emergency landing.

“The Trust was alerted to a potential issue with a Virgin Atlantic flight at 12.45pm.

“The Trust has robust and well-rehearsed plans in place to manage such incidents and moved a number of vehicles into the area should they have been required, including our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and specialist paramedics.

“As far as we are aware at present, no passengers or crew require medical attention, although some clinicians will remain on scene until the incident is closed.”