Etihad not happy with A380 pilots for ‘1 out of 10’ Storm Dennis landing
Two pilots have been reprimanded by their airline after performing a dramatic landing while their plane was buffeted by Storm Dennis winds .
Hair-raising footage showed the Airbus A380 superjumbo touching down at Heathrow Airport after travelling from Dubai on February 16 in a clip that has been viewed over 2.5million times on YouTube.
In the video, the hulking Etihad Airways aircraft seems to defy gravity as it battles 50mph gusts while the pilots attempt to get the 574,000kg plane back under control.
The £340million double-decker jet – known for its exclusive first class 'apartment in the sky' – then touches down and rights itself before taxiing to a terminal.
While some praised the flight crew's deft maneuvering, it seems that the pilots' employers were less impressed with what they saw.
The airline’s Manager of Flight Crew Training sent a memo to all pilots saying that the landing was unsafe, reports Airline Ratings
"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 said.
"If you see such a thing in the sim (Simulator) it would be a grade of 1 (out of 10)….”
Pilots facing a crosswind while landing are required to point the aircraft in the direction of the wind while maintaining a straight course toward the runway.
SpeedbirdTV posted the video on YouTube, where viewers hailed the pilots.
One wrote: "This pilot is just a great champion, the passengers owe him a huge thank you Bravo Monsieur."
Another added: "Wow, that landing probably made braving the elements worth it. Great capture and an awesome job by the pilot."
And a third wrote: "Wooow that is insane incredible."
With a wingspan of 262ft and length of 238ft, the A380 is the largest commercial passenger plane in the world. It is also one of the most expensive, with a brand new aircraft costing £340million.
It has a typical seating capacity of 525, although it is certified to carry as many as 853. Etihad's version has almost 500 seats for passengers.
Etihad's A380 fleet is known for The Residence, a one-of-a-kind, private suite with a bedroom, ensuite shower room and living room for two passengers. A one-way ticket costs almost £20,000 for two.
Planes struggled to land in high winds at many UK airports as Dennis battered the country with gales of almost 95mph and heavy rain, which triggered widespread flooding and landslips.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed in the second consecutive weekend of severe disruption for people travelling by plane, train or car.
Etihad Airways has been contacted for comment.
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