A British Airways stewardess who developed a fear of flying after being caught up in a mid-air emergency has been awarded more than £100,000 in damages.
Lucy Sargeant, 29, was on board the May 2013 flight from London Heathrow to Oslo when fires broke out in the plane’s engines, forcing the pilot to return for an emergency landing.
She ‘genuinely thought she was going to die’ during the terrifying incident.
Seventy-five passengers and five crew had to escape down the emergency chutes when the BA Airbus touched down after an engine fire broke out soon after take-off.
Miss Sargeant, from Uxbridge, said she thought she was going to die but tried to put on a brave face for the passengers’ sake.
Her barrister Nicholas Yell said: ‘There was complete panic on the plane.
‘They were very lucky to be able to evacuate the aircraft without physical injury or anyone being killed.
‘The movements of the plane suggested it was in its terminal phases as it was coming in to land,’ he told the court.
‘Seasoned flyers such as Miss Sargeant were completely terrified but tried to keep up a brave face for the benefit of the passengers.
‘It is difficult to overestimate the seriousness of what happened.’
She told Judge Robert Glancy QC: ‘I felt so helpless being in a plane that was on fire and I feared the worst.
‘But despite all that I had to retain an aura of calm on the outside for the benefit of the passengers.
‘All I was concerned about was us all getting out of the airplane successfully. But inside I was terrified.’
After the flight Miss Sargeant ‘relieved the nightmare over and over on a daily basis’, the judge said.
He added: ‘She tried to work through matters but the more she flew, the worse it became.’