Storm Barbara: Planes filmed landing sideways on as extreme winds hit UK

Up to 50mph winds at Birmingham airport

Saturday 24 December 2016 13:14
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Planes have been filmed landing at a series of alarming angles as high winds from Storm Barbara hit parts of the UK.

Footage shows passenger jets battling against strong gusts - which reached over 50 miles per hour in some areas of the country - as they approach the runway at Birmingham Airport.

Flights from FlyBe, EasyJet and Monarch were among those filmed navigating the tumultuous gales, at times skidding across the surface briefly before all eventually arriving safely.

The Midlands is not experiencing the strongest elements of the storm either, with winds ranging from 60mph to 100mph and even higher across Scotland on 23 December and again on Christmas Eve.

While apparently alarming, such landings are in fact routine for planes touching down in strong winds, with pilots are specifically trained for such weather conditions.

In these cases pilots will typically turn their noses towards the wind and out of line with the runway, as seen in the footage recorded by YouTube channel Spotter 101.

At the very extreme end, “wingstrike” - where a wing hits the runway - can occur, which took place in 2008 when a Lufthansa A320 plane was landing at Hamburg airport, in gusts of 54mph. No one was hurt in that incident, and such cases are extremely rare.

Storm Barbara has left over 15,000 homes without power and has created particularly hazardous driving conditions at a time when rail disruption will turn extra drivers onto the roads.

In the Midlands, trees, garden furniture and street bins were reported to be flying around as a result of the extreme gusts.

While flights out of Birmingham airport have experienced minor delays, there is an otherwise normal service currently on flights out of the airport.

The strongest gust of Storm Barbara was recorded in Scotland on Friday, where 120mph winds have seen an 'extreme weather warning' from the Met Office remain in place for Christmas Eve.

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