British Airways praises pilots after aborted Heathrow landing amid Storm Corrie

Bystander footage of the incident showed the Airbus A321 NEO’s tail coming close to the runway’s surface

Henry Jones
Tuesday 01 February 2022 20:18
A British Airways Airbus A321 NEO (Big Jet TV/PA)
A British Airways Airbus A321 NEO (Big Jet TV/PA)

British Airways has praised its pilots after one of the company’s Airbus A321 airliners was forced to abort its landing at Heathrow Airport on Monday when faced with strong winds as a result of Storm Corrie.

Footage shared by Big Jet TV showed the aircraft initially touching down on the runway, before banking sharply to the left.

The aircraft can then be seen beginning a go-around procedure, meaning it will climb back away from the runway and re-attempt the landing.

As the aircraft’s nose is raised, the tail can be seen coming close to the runway’s surface, in what was described as a “tail strike” by the video’s recorder.

British Airways declined to say whether the aircraft experienced a tail strike. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “Our pilots are highly trained to manage a range of scenarios, including extreme weather conditions, and our flight crew landed the aircraft safely.”

The spokesperson added: “Our customers and crew all disembarked as normal.”

The aircraft flew again later that day, completing a flight to Geneva and back.

A British Airways Airbus A321 NEO goes around at London Heathrow Airport amid strong winds, January 31 2022 (Big Jet TV/PA)

An Airbus A320 pilot, who wished to remain anonymous, told the PA news agency it was a “standard incident which happens all the time”.

“If there is any doubt you go around…(it) doesn’t even have to be bad weather. If it looks as though you are not going to land in the touchdown zone you go around,” they said.

Storm Corrie brought wind speeds of up to 90mph to the UK, leaving thousands of homes without power.

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