A pilot has explained a key flight manoeuvre that British Airways performed while descending into London Heathrow during the difficult weather conditions of Storm Erik.
The BA Dreamliner aircraft was filmed by Big Jet TV as it was forced to abandon its landing after strong winds put the plane off-balance seconds before it was about to land.
Fortunately, the plane was able to circle back around and land safely after the “go around” manoeuvre was performed.
Scott Bateman, chief executive of 9-Line Aviation and a retired member of the Royal Air Force, went on Twitter to explain the necessity of the manoeuvre, and why it was the safest option for the aircraft.
He explained: “This is a professional team making the correct decision to go around after an approach is destabilised by a gust.
“A practised and entirely safe manoeuvre.”
During extremes of weather it’s likely the Captain will plan to land the aircraft, to utilise their experience & exposure to these events. This increases the likelihood of landing but is never a guarantee. The team will always work to their parameters set in the brief #StormErik pic.twitter.com/rhJ7dMBOWD— Scott Bateman (@jumbo747pilot) February 8, 2019
Mr Bateman said: “Most approaches start an long way from the airfield.
“The pilots will get the weather and assess the likely ‘threats’.
“In the case of wind they will verbalise and practice manoeuvres such as a go around as well as setting acceptable and safe parameters for the day.
“There is no point in continuing to land if you haven’t touched down in the correct place.
“To do so would be unwise and it’s safer to go around.”
Did you know that the pilots can execute a go around even after landing? This is an entirely safe & practiced manoeuvre. There is no point in continuing to land if you haven’t touched down in the correct place. To do so would be unwise and it’s safer to go around. #StormErik pic.twitter.com/T3ueZI6uzJ— Scott Bateman (@jumbo747pilot) February 8, 2019
Storm Erik has seen wet and windy weather forecast across the UK and Ireland, with winds of 70mph in some areas and heavy rain across large parts of the UK.
The Met Office has issued two weather warnings for Friday for strong winds across Northern Ireland and western Scotland until the evening, and for heavy rain in Scotland until Saturday afternoon.
Elsewhere, the Welsh and Cornish coasts could see winds of 55mph, while along the coast of southern England gusts could reach 50mph.
- Press Association