“We are all still shocked. I usually say that I am not afraid of anything but there… After ten minutes of flight, a very big smoke took hold of the plane. We weren’t Couldn’t see it ten meters away. It smelled very strongly of burning,” Pierre-Olivier Murat, president of Rodez Aveyron Football (RAF), present on board, told an AFP correspondent.
The leader added that his players were not immediately in condition to take a plane. “We are all discussing, managing the stress and the fear of the players but we are not going to die for a football match,” he said.
For his part, Alain Regourd, CEO of the airline Amelia, recognized “a release of smoke”. “The pilot followed the protocol to perfection, we turned around, we are dealing with the problem. It was calm on the plane but some players were scared,” he said.
In 2004, the Rodez club had already been the victim of an incident during the flight which brought the team to Bastia for a CFA match (4th division). The door of the plane had exploded in full flight above the Mediterranean, sucking two players towards the void, finally restrained by their belts.
The team had landed in Bastia, unscathed, and had been able to play, and win, their match the next day.