Friday 24 January 2020

Miss Ireland hopeful Bronwyn tells of plane bird strike horror

High-flying Dublin beauty queen Bronwyn O’Connell
High-flying Dublin beauty queen Bronwyn O’Connell

An Aer Lingus cabin crew member in this year's Miss Ireland competition has told of her terror after a flight was hit by a flock of geese.

Miss Dublin Central Bronwyn O'Connell (25) said the plane was just about to take off when the birds were sucked into the engine.

"We heard this huge bang and then we jerked forward and the brakes were slammed on and we came to a halt on the runway," she said.


"The captain came on and told everyone to remain in their seats. We had to wait and see if it was going to be an evacuation.

"It was very scary and some of the passengers were crying. I got up and asked if everyone was OK and reassured them.

"The captain said we were so lucky not to have taken off as the engine was gone and we would have had to turn around and do an emergency landing with one engine."

It was not the only time Bronwyn had faced on-board drama.

On another flight, the cabin crew had to use a defibrillator on a woman Parkinson's sufferer who had collapsed.

"The paramedics told us when we landed that we had kept her alive. Her heart was going mad but she survived," said Bronwyn.

"People saw what was going on and some were crying. It was very upsetting.

"I was only flying a month or two then, but we're very well trained.

"First aid is so important for the rest of your life that it should be taught in schools."

Bronwyn, from Navan Road, has had plenty of good days in the air, and earlier this year looked after the Irish rugby team when they flew to the Algarve during the Six Nations for a training camp.

"They're huge men. They all had the middle seat free in their rows so they could literally fit in them," she said.

"They had special meals with them and had no coffee, just water. They were very friendly and we chatted away to them."

Bronwyn has been with Aer Lingus for three years and is currently on the transatlantic and UK routes.

"I'm flying to Los Angeles tomorrow morning and I regularly fly to New York, Boston, San Francisco, Newark and Washington," she said.


"I've also flown to London, while Rome is my favourite city. It's absolutely stunning, but I love New York best for shopping."

Big-hearted Bronwyn, who volunteers with Pieta House, said she is loving the build-up to Miss Ireland on September 14, when she hopes to become the first Dubliner to win the competition since Herald diarist Holly Carpenter in 2011.

"It has been a great experience so far and I feel like I'm living the dream," she said.

"All the girls are lovely and I'm making friends for life.

"They're all such down-to-earth girls."

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