Gatwick and Heathrow airport officials denied distress calls

Posted on 15. Feb, 2014 by in Information, News

It had been reported that pilots of several planes have made “mayday” signals to Gatwick and Heathrow airport due to lack of fuel before they were instructed to divert planes and land at other airports in the UK.

Several airline companies such as British Airways have claimed that they sent distress signals after going around London and almost running out of fuel.

Officials of the said airports have denied these claims stating they did not receive any emergency signals.

According to a spokeswoman for Gatwick airport: “We didn’t have any emergency calls at all over the weekend. The control center log the calls that come in and they didn’t report any emergencies.”

The Sunday Times reported that four flights were asked to use other airports to land and three of them came dangerously close to running out of fuel.

“The story in the Sunday Times is untrue. There were no mayday or distress calls received at Heathrow. Due to high cross winds some aircraft were diverted to other UK airports that have spare runway capacity,” said a spokesperson from Heathrow.

Jonathan Swain, an ITV reporter, on flight BA 767 who came back from covering Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia tweeted, “My most frightening flight ever. People screaming on flight as thrown around by strong winds.  Pilot aborted as wheel touched runway. Even the cabin crew were worried. We we like a paper plane swinging over London approaching HRW (Heathrow).”

There was a weather chaos on Friday as passengers reported that the planes were being thrown around by strong, hurricane-like winds.

There was a total of 30 planes diverted from landing at Heathrow and Gatwick and were instead sent to Manchester, Birmingham, Stansted and Newcastle where winds are not as bad.

Also according to a spokesperson from Gatwick: “It is not surprising that passengers would complain about these ‘go around’ landings. These aircrafts can land in very high winds but it is the pilot’s decision if they want to land it. They might try to land once, or twice and in the end say we want to land somewhere else. So it is quite a journey for people on board.”

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