A technical fault that forced a plane full of holidaymakers to do a U-turn back to Manchester Airport caused a scare in Wigan – after swooping so low over the ground that people thought it was going to crash.
Onlookers have spoken of how shocked they were to see the enormous plane circling with its landing gear down so low over the town.
One eye-witness toldWigan Today: "I couldn't believe how low it was. It was just circling so at first I thought something could be wrong."
Locals took to Twitter, reporting seeing a "VERY low-flying plane", and some said they thought the circling plane had "gone down" over the Beech Hill area.
The First Choice flight was heading to Fuerteventura from Manchester when it developed a problem.
According to the Aviation Herald, the flight reported problems with the cabin pressure and decided to return to Manchester, landing safely about 140 minutes after departure.
A spokesperson for Thomson Airways, which owns First Choice, confirmed that a technical fault on flight TOM2662 meant the plane had returned to Manchester as a "precautionary measure."
"Thomson Airways would like to reassure customers that their safety and wellbeing is the airline's number one priority at all times and that technical faults and delays of this nature are extremely rare."
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority told AOL Travel that "technical faults" on aircraft were nearly always extremely minor. "They could be anything from an oven or toilet not working on a longhaul flight to a warning light flashing on the control panel," he said.
"If a computer on board shows a problem, the crew needs to investigate what that is. It's not always a safety decision, it might be an operational decision.
"In the vast majority of incidents like these, passengers are never in any danger."
He went on to say that modern aircraft warning systems are much better now than historically. "It may be that there are more alerts now because more things are being monitored - but that can only be a good thing," he said.
Violent passenger forces holiday jet to do a U-turn
Video: scariest plane landings
Did you see the plane? Have you experienced a "technical fault" on a flight? Tell us below.