LONDON — Warned to stay home because of a dangerous storm battering the United Kingdom, thousands of Britons took to YouTube on Friday to watch passenger jets make wobbly descents at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Some 190,000 people tuned into one YouTube live stream by “BIG JET TV” as Storm Eunice has wreaked havoc on transport networks. Jets that failed to line up properly were filmed pulling up and trying again.
“Big Kudos to the pilots and crews working at the airports but this is the most exciting stuff that you can possibly get,” live streamer Jerry Dyer said at one point as he made encouraging comments about pilots as planes roared ahead.
“Right now, these conditions with 70mph and gusting winds it’s pretty intense and what’s great is you get to see the skill of the pilots and how they handle it,” he added.
The video showed cringe-worthy rough landings.
“He’s gone around, he’s gone around … he’s had enough,” Dyer said at another point, describing another jet’s decision to loop around and try landing later.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said he was not filming from the airport’s property or affiliated with it in any way.
“We are working in close collaboration with our airline and air traffic control partners to get people safely away on their journeys as quickly as possible,” they added in a separate statement.
Another stream by “Airliners Live,” taken around 200 miles north near Manchester Airport in northwest England, which was also being viewed by some 24,000 people.
For other British travelers, Storm Eunice has been less entertaining. High winds have made driving conditions difficult and train companies urged passengers to avoid traveling on Friday as emergency 50mph speed limits were in place in many areas.
Commuters in London were advised to avoid all but essential transport and some of covering on the capital’s O2 Arena could be seen flapping in the strong winds in footage shared on social media.
The well known building, formerly called the Millennium Dome, hosts major events including concerts and is home to restaurants, bars, shops and a movie theater.
Elsewhere, several bridges were closed, including the Severn Bridge which links southern England and Wales, and the Britannia Bridge, which connects the island of Anglesey with mainland Wales.
The UK’s Met Office which provides forecasts for the country said the a wind gust of 122 mph was recorded Friday morning on the Isle of Wight, a small island around 80 miles south of London.
“This is provisionally the highest gust ever recorded in England,” it said in a tweet.
In London and the UK’s southeast, the Met Office issued a “Red weather warning” and cautioned about flying debris, damage to buildings and homes and said that power lines could be brought down.