On December 5th a fierce storm with 60 mph winds caused an Emirates Boeing 777 to abort its landing attempt at Birmingham, England's International Airport. The pilot attempted what is known as a "Crabbing Maneuver" which involves steering the aircraft a little off course and pulling hard on the rudder at the last moment to bring the aircraft in line with the runway. This is a standard maneuver for landing aircraft in high winds.
The storm complete with heavy rains, flooding and gusting winds knocked down trees and took out services in Birmingham and the surrounding area. The high winds made it impossible for the pilot to make a safe landing. Passengers watched from the on board monitors as the jet careened nearly sideways down the length of the runway. After three failed attempts the pilot decided against a landing and radioed for a redirect.
The Dubai based Emirate Boeing 777 was redirected 100 miles away to London's Gatewick Airport where passengers were visibly relieved to be on the ground. When interviewed about the aborted flight passengers reported that during the landing attempt the plane seemed to be drifting to the left. When it started climbing again some wondered if the pilot was half asleep and had lost control. At least one passenger is reported to have gotten sick while the plane was bouncing around. Some other passengers reported motion sickness but no injuries were sustained.
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Boeing 777 Landing in Birmingham, England Aborted as Plane Goes Sideways
Boeing 777 landing aborted at Birmingham Airport; fliers sickened