« BackBallymac family caught up in New York emergency flight landing praise Kerry pilot

A Kerry family caught up in an emergency plane landing in New York has praised the pilot who’s from this county.

Airplane cabin

On Monday, an Aer Lingus flight bound for Dublin had to make an emergency landing at JFK Airport just minutes after leaving New York.

The pilot, Captain Paul Dowling, who’s originally from Ardfert, and his co-pilot received a failure notificiation shortly after taking off.

The problem related to the plane’s hydraulic equipment and potential problems with landing gear.

Mary Fitzgibbon from Ballymacelligott was on the flight with her husband and five children.

She remembers when Captain Dowling said they would have to make an emergency landing.

Mary Fitzgibbon says Captain Dowling told her later that he had recently undergone a flight simulator test which replicated Monday’s emergency.

Mary and her family arrived in Shannon Airport just before noon – nearly 30 hours after they were originally due to arrive back in Ireland.

She says the professionalism of Captain Dowling and his crew kept the 110 passengers on board calm.