A pilot has described what it was like to land in the middle of Storm Eunice – and said she was pleased passengers have trust in the aircraft crews.
BA captain Kirsten Molyneaux was speaking after aircraft landings in the gale force winds became gripping viewing for tens of thousands of people watching online.
Footage showed aircraft jinking and jerking violently as they came into land, with some carrying out ‘go-arounds’ when they abandon their attempt and take to the sky again.
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More than 200,000 people tuned into live streams from Heathrow.
And more footage of hair-raising landings emerged from other airports including Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Molyneaux, who flew her Airbus A320 into London from Milan on Friday afternoon, said: “It was certainly a challenging arrival into Heathrow. The decision we have to make as pilots is whether or not the approach feels right, and if not, we take no risks, we go around and we try again.
“We all had extra fuel put on the aircraft today to ensure that we have the ability to make those decisions and always to do the right thing.
“Although these conditions are rare, we practice for them in the simulator all the time and it is very professionally rewarding to use these skills.
“As pilots we know our passengers have all their trust in us and we take that responsibility very seriously indeed.”
At Doncaster Sheffield Airport aviation photographer Grant Price captured footage of airliners taking off and landing during Storm Eunice and a few days ago Storm Dudley.
His footage showed a Wizz Air Airbus A320 battling gales of more than 50mph as it came into land after a flight from Katowice in Poland.
Grant said: “It’s a testament to the bravery and the skill of the pilots to bring these aircraft down in these horrible conditions. The aircraft was yawing left and right as she came down. Absolutely amazing skills by these pilots to bring this aircraft down safely.”
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