Manchester United players and staff couldn’t care less if “go-arounds” happen all the time. The one they were part of gave them a real scare.
The airplane carrying the team from Manchester, England, to Cologne, Germany, was forced to abort its landing at the last moment Tuesday, frightening United’s travelling party, according to the Manchester Evening News.
United was travelling to Germany ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen when the mid-air drama occurred.
“The Reds’ Airbus 321 chartered Monarch plane was seconds away from landing after their flight from Manchester when they had to abort touchdown,” the report says.
“The aircraft, carrying the squad and back room staff, was 400 meters from the Cologne runway when the pilot was alerted to another plane on the ground and had to quickly abandon the descent and rise sharply.
“The 185-seater jet circled around and landed safely on the strip at the German airport ten minutes late, with the captain apologizing for the incident.”
An unnamed member of United’s contingent described those harrowing moments.
“It was quite frightening,” he or she said. “We were coming in to land when we had to pull up suddenly because it appears there was a plane on the runway.”
Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand told his Twitter followers that he too was shaken up.
United’s plane scare comes just one day after United legend Bill Foulkes died at age 81. The United legend survived the 1958 Munich air disaster, which killed 23 people including eight United players. United players will wear black armbands during Wednesday’s game as a tribute to the former defender.
The report adds that aviation industry experts say aborted landings, or “go-arounds” are common occurrences. However, it’s not every day that planes carrying some of the world’s most famous athletes do them.
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