(DailyExpertNews) — As storms ravage the UK, footage has surfaced of a pilot making a particularly challenging landing – but not before the plane seemed about to tip over and scrape its tail on the runway.
British Airways flight 1307 traveled from Aberdeen to London on Monday, but the 80-minute flight had a bumpy ride at the end.
The plane – an Airbus A321neo – arrived to land at Heathrow and was visibly wind-blown before landing on a wheel, bouncing up and down, tipping precariously to the left and then appearing to hit the runway with its tail as the pilots aborted the landing and performed a go-around to land safely.
Jerry Dyer, who filmed the dramatic landing, told DailyExpertNews that the event “just shows how skilled pilots are.”
Although the UK has been ravaged by Storm Corrie’s 90 mph winds, which have killed two people and left many without power, Dyer said the winds at Heathrow were actually not that bad – he estimates around 20 mph – but it was a gust of wind that slid between two buildings and hit the runway that nearly toppled the plane.
Flight trackers show the plane reaches ground level at 140 mph just before noon, before climbing steeply to an altitude of 1,173 meters (3,850 feet) in four minutes.
It landed for the second time 16 minutes later. It has not been confirmed whether the tail actually touched the ground, or whether it just appeared.
Dyer stayed for three hours filming and saw another plane making a go-around, as well as many struggling with the gusts of wind.
Go-arounds — where the descending plane goes back up to make another attempt — and “aborted landings,” where the pilot makes a go-around just as they hit the ground, are perfectly safe.
Although they are therefore not comfortable for those on board.
Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, in the north east of Scotland, told DailyExpertNews he owes the pilot “deep gratitude for their professionalism and composure in how they handled what was a potentially very dangerous situation.”
Everything seemed normal at first, he said.
“Although there was a harder landing than usual at the beginning, when the plane came down for the second time it appeared that it was caught by a strong gust of wind.
“It was clear that the pilot had to decide quickly whether to try to stabilize the aircraft to make the landing or to abort. Fortunately, they were able to accelerate out of the situation to make a second approach.
“While it looked like the left wing was almost cutting off the runway, it wasn’t until after seeing the video that we saw the tail hit the runway,” Thomson said.
The aircraft even appeared to briefly touch the runway with its tail before making a safe go-around.
Courtesy of Big Jet TV
“It didn’t feel particularly dramatic on board and everyone remained calm, but it is now clear how close we came to a serious incident.
“Obviously all of us noticed that we couldn’t land and felt the wind, but the pilot’s skill probably meant that only those facing the left side of the plane could really see how close to clipping the ground the wing was. used to be.”
Dyer — who rushes straight to Heathrow in bad weather and often goes viral with his videos — told DailyExpertNews he’d give the pilot “10 out of 10” for their “split second decision.”
And he said that for average people, watching planes in “windy or stormy conditions” is “much more exciting” than seeing them in normal conditions.
“It’s the battle – forces of nature against an alloy tube with wings on it that we have to master on the ground,” he said. “It’s fantastic to watch.”
He stayed for another three hours, but saw nothing as dramatic as the landing in Aberdeen.
A British Airways spokesperson told DailyExpertNews: “Our pilots are well trained to manage a range of scenarios, including extreme weather conditions, and our flight crew landed the plane safely. Our customers and crew have all disembarked as normal.”
And not only did they disembark normally, but they did so eight minutes ahead of schedule — they finally landed at 12:17 p.m.