Emergency Landing Passenger Tells His Story - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Emergency Landing Passenger Tells His Story

Published August 15, 2015

Main photo by
Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

One of the two men who were forced to make an emergency landing in a challenging spot Thursday told his story yesterday.

RÚV reports that while it is still unknown what caused a single-engine plane flown by two Icelanders last Thursday to suddenly lose altitude, forcing them to land on a very thin embankment between a country road and a fjord, the two men in question – brothers Steinþór Jón Gunnarsson and Egill Ari Gunnarsson – have been reached.

“When we landed, we celebrated like world champions,” Steinþór said. “[Egill] had just gotten his pilot’s license. It’s unbelievable that he was able to pull it off.”

Steinþór said that the two had just taken off when trouble struck, which turned out to be fortunate – further out, and they might have been forced to make a water landing. They were at about 1,000 feet in the air when the plane began to rapidly lose altitude. At this point, they opted to turn around and aim for land rather than continue further.

“I started to panic a little,” Steinþór said. “Then my brother turned to me and told me ‘Stop it.’ So I stopped it.” He added that he had begun to send a text message to friends and family, but had only gotten as far as the single letter E.

Egill reportedly kept his cool during their descent, when “suddenly we were on the road and had landed,” Steinþór said. There was fortunately no traffic on the road, as it took the plane some 200 metres to come to a complete stop.

The plane’s engine is now being investigated to see what exactly went wrong.

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