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Watch: Skilled Pilots Save Plane From Toppling Over During Landing at Heathrow Airport

London News Airports + Flying
by Nickolaus Hines Feb 6, 2022

As frequent fliers know, the vast majority of a flight is pretty calm, give or take some turbulence. Landings, however, can sometimes get a bit dicey in tough conditions — descent and landing last about 4 percent of an average flight yet it’s when 49 percent of fatal accidents happen, according to Insider.

Which can make watching a tricky landing take place, let alone being on the flight itself, all the more nerve wracking. Take, for example, this video of a recently saved landing on British Airways flight 1307.

The flight was traveling a quick 80 minutes from Aberdeen to London Heathrow in an Airbus 321neo. Jerry Dyer, who runs the YouTube channel Big Jet TV, told CNN that the winds were around an estimated 20 miles per hour, though gusts between the buildings made the landing more difficult.

In the video, you can see the plane float over the tarmac for a bit around 20 seconds in, and you can hear Dyer say, “yeah he’s got that.”

One wheel lightly touches first, then both wheels and it looks like it might be saved. But then it gets wobbly and the left wing dips, at which point Dyer says, “easy, easy, easy!” before the plane pulls up to loop around for another try. On the way back up, it appears that the back of the plane knocks the ground.

When an airplane hits the back of the plane on the runway during takeoff or landing it’s called a tail strike. Landings are the most common for tail strikes, and they typically occur when a crew isn’t fully familiar with the plane or there are strong gusts or other adverse weather conditions — which was what happened in this case.

Stephen Flynn, a member of the UK parliament who was on the flight, later tweeted, “Can confirm this was not enjoyable.”

As disconcerting as the who ordeal was, it clearly could have gone a lot worse.

“In my view, the pilot deserves a medal!” Dyer wrote in the description, adding: “This has to go down as one of our best moments” caught on video.

The plane landed 16 minutes later — still eight minutes ahead of schedule.

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