TUI plane lands sideways at Bristol Airport after getting caught in Storm Callum’s 77mph winds.
It's not quite a landing that would earn top marks in figure skating or gymnastics, but when lives hang in the balance, it was nothing short of miraculous.
The landing that's gone viral on social media since Monday concerns a TUI Boeing 757-200 facing crosswinds of 45 miles per hour when it was on final approach to a runway at Bristol Airport. The city was in the middle of a storm so major that airport authorities redirected nine planes to other destinations. Meteorologists even went so far as to dub the weather disturbance Storm Callum.
Whether that was an option for the TUI flight, on the verge of finishing its route from Menorca, Spain seems moot now, considering how dramatic the proceedings were as the plane descended onto the tarmac. The intensity was aptly captured on video with the descending plane barely visible through the cloud cover, before navigating the crosswinds that were battering the craft. By the time the ground is visible in the video, the plane is sideways just feet above the runway.
The nose starts to rotate frontwards, to the point where touchdown occurs, the carrier is at a 45-degree angle. A split second of deftly steering the nose wheels is all it takes to ensure the plane is in perfect alignment with the runway and all of its passengers reported safe.
TUI has not commented on the landing or shared with the media how many passengers and crew were on board at the time. At this writing, the company has yet to reveal the name of the pilot. But TUI did credit the pilot's skills in maneuvering the craft in very hazardous conditions, claiming that its cockpit crew was talented enough to handle flights that find themselves in precarious situations.
There may have been an element of luck involved as well since the storm reportedly also included a great deal of rainfall and caused even greater havoc elsewhere in England with winds of nearly 70 miles per hour over the weekend. Storm Callum isn't exactly unique these days, as weather reports indicated two other storms like it ravaged the UK in September.