A PASSENGER jet filled with Britons has been forced to make an emergency landing after reports of a "burning smell" in the cockpit.
EasyJet Flight EZY8704 was diverted to a remote Portuguese island after taking off from Tenerife yesterday afternoon.
Passengers began hyperventilating as the plane, which was due to land at Gatwick, began its seven-minute descent.
Some 167 passengers were stranded on the island of Porto Santo for several hours before a replacement jet took them to London.
Mike Rowse, who was flying with his wife and four-year-old daughter, said his family was "apprehensive" at the emergency landing.
He said: "The plane started to descend quickly and then the captain came on and said there was a technical issue with the plane.
"At the time we didn’t know what was going on. One lady a couple of rows in front was hyperventilating, panicking."
Mr Roswe, from Sandhurst, Berkshire, hailed the "fantastic" crew for keeping the situation under control.
He added: "We were told it was bearings on a fan which was under the floor which was creating the burning smell.
"But obviously at the time we didn't know that."
An easyJet spokesman told the Mirror: "Flight EZY8704 from Tenerife South to London Gatwick diverted to Porto Santo due to a technical issue.
"The aircraft landed safely and once at its stand all passengers disembarked normally.
"easyJet would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience caused by this delay."