A video of an Airbus A380 belonging to Etihad Airways pulling off an extraordinary landing at the London's Heathrow Airport may have made the pilots hero on Twitter, but the company thinks otherwise.
A leaked memo from Etihad’s own pilot training department suggest that the airline wasn’t impressed with the pilot’s efforts during Storm Dennis. “You may have seen a video this week of one of our A380s landing in a strong crosswind in London. The official view from the Training Department is a simple one – THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT TO SEE. There is a time to give an approach away in the interest of safety” the memo from Etihad’s manager of flight crew training for its Boeing fleet says.
“If you see such a thing in the sim (aircraft simulator) that would be a grade 1 for both pilots… Please gentlemen, let’s teach our pilots to operate safely even that means changing the mission.”
‘From now on, that’s how you land!’ Earlier today at @HeathrowAirport: @Airbus A380 @EtihadAirways, crosswind landing during #StormDennis. Video: https://t.co/g4gKvMaAb6 🇬🇧 @AirbusPRESS @a380fanclub @stef_schaffrath @sara_rcc @AirbusintheUK pic.twitter.com/VmlK1d25Gs — Aeronews (@AeronewsGlobal) February 15, 2020
The earlier released viral footage shows the pilot's skilful manoeuvre, as the Etihad Airbus A380 aircraft contended with powerful headwinds brought by Storm Dennis. The video shows the world's largest plane hovering sideways over the runway, struggling to land, before successfully landing.
Usually such strong winds would have resulted in an aborted landing, or touch and go procedure. Partly because the A380 is a heavy plane and partly because of pilot's skill, the plane was able to land at the runway without any incidence.
The storm, the second to hit the UK in as many weeks, has unleashed strong winds and heavy rain over the weekend and hundreds of flights were grounded.