My route home from the funeral in Northern Ireland comprised a flight to Dublin, then a coach ride to the coast, followed by a trip in the QE2 at four miles an hour back across the Irish Sea. The latter section of the journey had recently been introduced to the itinerary for the entertainment of children.
Unfortunately the journey did not turn out as planned. As we neared Dublin I was busy explaining to my fellow passengers the difficulty of handling high quantities of incoming e-mail when you spend most of the working day in meetings or the classroom. Then I glanced out of the window and wondered why we were flying so low over the hills.
The reason soon became very obvious: the pilot had taken the decision to land on the moorland. We could hear him swearing from the cockpit.
The landing itself was perfect and nobody was hurt. Now, however, the pilot faced the problem of getting the plane airborne again and resuming the flight to Dublin. It proved impossible to use the single track road as a runway when the right wing smashed into a pylon in a nearby field. I witnessed this all from my prime position seated atop the aircraft’s nose.