TWO teenagers have relived their horror after the plane they were on plunged 20,000ft before making an emergency landing.
Fourteen-year-old Aidan Markay and his sister Hannah, 17, feared the aircraft was about to crash as the captain cried ‘Mayday, Mayday,’ and the plane started to descend rapidly over the Alps.
They were flying alone for the first time after visiting friends in Italy, when the Ryanair flight from Milan to East Midlands airport suddenly lost cabin pressure.
Aidan, a pupil at Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School, said: “We were about 30 minutes into the flight I think when the oxygen masks suddenly fell and we were looking at each other, we didn’t know what was going on.
“The captain shouted ‘Mayday, Mayday,’ and we were going down so quickly. I thought we were going to crash.
“I was really scared, a lot more than my sister, I was crying.”
Hannah, a student at Meadowhead and Norton College, said: “I was asleep when I woke to a bang, a rush of cold air and the masks dropping.
“Babies were crying because the pressure was hurting their ears, other people were making the sign of the cross.
“We had no idea what’s going on and the air hostesses were just running with things that looked like a fire extinguisher.
“I had the strangest reaction, I just couldn’t stop talking. It was a bit like being in a dream, it didn’t seem real.
“I wasn’t scared, I just had this big rush of adrenaline.”
But the pair, of Holmesdale Road, Dronfield, said there was also a ‘community’ spirit on board, despite the chaos, with people helping each other.
The plane levelled out once it reached an altitude of about 10,000ft and landed safely at Frankfurt Hahn airport in Germany.
Passengers were checked medically, with an audiologist making sure they were safe to fly, before a different plane took them back to East Midlands.
Hannah said: “It was a big relief to get off the plane, some people couldn’t get off fast enough.
“We were all a bit nervous to get back on a different flight, though.”
The youngsters contacted their parents once they had landed last Wednesday to share the news of the emergency landing.
Mum Kristin, aged 48, said: “This was the first time the two of them had flown alone, so it seemed to be quite a traumatic experience.
“As a parent you wish you had been there.
“The last thing you want to hear on a flight is ‘Mayday’. We think they were both really brave.”
Ryanair said no passengers were injured during the depressurisation incident.
The firm said: “Flight FR1703, Milan to East Midlands, diverted to Frankfurt Hahn after the captain identified a pressurisation warning, deployed the oxygen masks, and descended to 10,000ft as recommended.
“‘The aircraft landed at noon, local time, and passengers disembarked normally, to be provided with refreshments.
“A replacement aircraft took them onwards to East Midlands Airport with an estimated delay of four hours.
“Ryanair apologises sincerely to all passengers affected by this diversion and delay.”