How would you react to your airplane suddenly start swaying side to side? Passengers aboard one flight experienced this phenomenon on a recent trip this week. British Airways Flight 492 encountered extreme winds while attempting to land in Gibraltar.
British Airways was traveling from London Heathrow to Gibraltar when it was struck by heavy winds when approaching the peninsula. The flight was ultimately rerouted to Malaga where it had a safe landing. Gibraltar is known for having strong winds, so it’s a common issue. Thanks to video footage, we can now see just how extreme the winds can get.
The first video was captured by someone on the ground of Gibraltar watching as the plane approached. The video starts with the guy exclaiming “Woah!” possibly all of our reactions to witnessing something like this. It clearly shows the significant rocking from side to side as the plane continues to fly its route. The swaying is attributed to the plane attempting to stay balanced, although it’s unclear whether it’s an autopilot correcting feature or being manually handled by the pilot. From the looks of it, it’s not a relaxing flight to start Monday morning.
Soon after the on-ground footage went viral, two additional videos were uploaded online, giving us a perspective of the passengers on board. Two passengers captured the event from the sky. The swaying on the plane is just as bad as you would imagine, but surprisingly, the passengers remained relatively calm during the whole experience.
In one video, we get a sense of the intense motions of the plane, which was surely felt by everyone onboard the airplane. The view over the wingtip shows the constant up and down motion as it approaches Gibraltar.
A second video also lets us witness the occurrence of how it was felt on the plane. In the video, we get to hear a bit more of the dialogue on the plane during the event. In a calm voice, the pilot states that they will have to “go around” Gibraltar. The initial shock of the plane rocking caused a few screams, but overall, passengers also maintained their composure. You can hear people casually talking and laughing it off, possibly their way of coping with the stress of a less-than-pleasant flight.
The swaying of the airplane only lasted temporarily as the plane was approaching the coast of Gibraltar. In the videos, the plane eventually stabilized once passing over the land. The wind is a common factor when flying to and from Gibraltar, but this wind was a bit stronger than usual based on the reactions. Are you ready for your flight to Gibraltar yet?