A MAN driving an airport luggage vehicle had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into a Flybe plane on Saturday.
Passengers were told the news as they waited to board the lunchtime flight to Bristol. They were later transferred to Flybe’s Birmingham flight.
The condition of the driver, who was taken from the tarmac in an ambulance, is not known.
One passenger due to travel on the Bristol flight told the Isle of Man Examiner problems began for Flybe earlier in the morning as an incoming flight from Liverpool fell victim to some mechanical problems which caused knock on delays during the day.
Added to that, he said, was a reported computer system failure which meant making alternative arrangements for passengers proved more difficult and check in details had to be handwritten.
‘My flight was supposed to go to Bristol but was put back to 3pm,’ said the passenger.
‘We were all getting ready to start the queue when we were summoned to Gate Two and a Flybe representative said a man had had a heart attack going with the luggage to the plane.
‘He was at the wheel and had crashed into the side of the plane, which was damaged.
‘We were told to continue waiting and then our flight was merged with the Birmingham flight and it didn’t leave until 5.40pm.
‘The captain came out from the cockpit and said it had been a terrible day with Flybe and he could understand why everyone was annoyed. He said the plane would be an insurance write off.
‘There were still delays after our plane left.’
The passenger said some people on the flight missed connections to France as a result of the delays.
A Flybe spokesman said: ‘A number of flights in and out of the island were delayed on Saturday May 26 due to the collision between the ambilift vehicle and Flybe’s stationary aircraft, which unfortunately caused considerable damage. We are pleased to learn that the individual involved is in a stable condition and apologise for any disruption to services following this unforeseen incident.’