Yesterday a red weather warning for strong winds was issued by the Met Office and urged the public to stay home and not face the strong winds across London, the south-east and east of England as Storm Eunice took control. The severe weather report showed the storm reached up to 90mph gusts and ended up destroying multiple trees, cars, buses, train lines and even historical landmarks. During the extreme weather, aeroplanes were also forced to emergency land when coming into the country and was covered by the YouTube channel Big Jet TV, which live-streamed the challenging landings. Joining BBC Breakfast hosts Ben Thompson and Luxmy Gopal, Amanda Harrison revealed secrets from the cockpit and admitted it was the professionalism of the pilots landing the plans and not luck.
Introducing Amanda, who has been flying aeroplanes commercially for 10 years, Luxmy said: “We know that trains were cancelled yesterday, people were advised to stay away from the roads if they could.
“Yet the planes were still trying to land, how bad does a storm need to be before flights are grounded?”
Amanda explained: “I took the safe option as you say not to travel by the road, it really depends on wind direction and where it is.
“Mostly, it was coming from a southwesterly direction, which is in line with the runway, which is why it wasn’t so much out of limits yesterday.
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“So it is more about what is actually surrounding the storm and where it is blowing from in the direction of landing.
“If it had been a north-south direction wind up to 60 knots, then that’s when the limits of the aeroplane isn’t able to land.”
Amanda revealed pilots are the most tested professionals in the world, always using a simulator and an annual flight instructor renewal test.
“We’re normally testing the simulator with that kind of weather, with clouds, with a problem with the engine and maybe a problem with the passenger as well.
“It starts to shout at you, ‘wind shear, wind shear’ which sounds dramatic, but when you have had it in the simulator, you’re used to it.”
All aeroplanes which were forced to land landed safely and were captured by YouTube Channel Big Jet TV which was live streaming for nearly eight hours.
The channel amassed 6,268,830 views as people tuned in to watch the pilots face the strong winds and safely bring the passengers to safety.
Commenting and praising the pilots flying the planes, Elz the Witch said: “As someone who is terrified of flying, this whole stream has made me really appreciate the pilots and how much skill they have.”
Jake Howie added: “Well done to British pilots and other pilots, as well as Heathrow ATC for their skill and professionalism.”
Diana Scutelnicu praised: “I’m a very anxious flyer – this has really helped me realise that pilots are so skilled and even under these weather conditions they can land a plane safely.”
Amanda Woodham said: “I think credit is due to the incredible skill of the pilots as well as the cabin crews who work to ensure passengers stay safe! What amazing people!” (sic)
Many records for the YouTube channel were reached yesterday as it gained thousands of new members, had 200 thousand people watching at one time and added more than 50 subscriptions to the channel.
BBC Breakfast airs every day from 6am on BBC One.