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Incredible footage of an Airbus A380 hovering over Heathrow during storm Eunice

LONDON, UK — YouTube aviation channel Speedbird TV filmed an incredible footage of a Qatar Airways A380's attempt landing at London Heathrow during Storm Eunice.The producer said it was "insane" and “intense”. “Never have I seen that, and I have been live-streaming aviation for 10 years!” ( More...

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ginbudjim21 25
Had a neighbor in windy western Kansas who would go up and fly his Piper Cub backwards over town.
adalbert29 6
Hahahaaaaa - I did the same on one of my last circuits before soloing in a C150. It became interesting on final - tower had some comments with traffic behind..... oops..
M5180C 5
My kind of adventure! But it begs the question, how did he get back?
Kevin Patton 8
Simple, he just turned around. :)
tam nelson 2
adalbert29 1
Throttle back!
AWAAlum 1
Trying to visualize the exact moment he switched from forward to backward movement. And I can't.
victorbravo77 1
Flaps 15.
Victor Engel 22
Compare the span of the wings to the features on the roof. It's obviously making substantial progress getting closer. The appearance of hovering can largely be attributed to foreshortening, changing of zoom, and parallax with respect to the direction the aircraft is pointing.
SkyAware123 5
He might be making progress but it sure isn't a lot.
Victor Engel 2
According the the track log the slowest speed was about 95 knots. That's slower than typical but not anywhere near to hovering. It's about double highway speed for many roads.
SkyAware123 1
It was definitely less than that.
Peter Fuller 3
We don’t have it, but video taken from 90 degrees to the airplane’s course over ground would better tell the tale.
AWAAlum 1
Reminds me of that time in the movie The Graduate when Dustin Hoffman appeared to be running toward the camera, but not getting any closer.
Roger Anderson 22
Ah the power of depth of field.
Victor Engel 8
You mean foreshortening.
btweston 10
Ah, the power of being smrt.
Ted Cannaday 4
Much maligned nowadays
adalbert29 2
I think it's a 5G groundspeed issue
Ed Crist 6
Don't these A380 aircraft have an immense wing area, about the same area as oh, Rhode Island.
victorbravo77 1
I could fly a kite faster in winds like these!
Victor Engel 5
Compare the flight track and see how close to hovering it was.
Well it seems at one point it was still in the air at 89 knots. The landing speed of a A380 is ~130 -140 knots.
Victor Engel 2
Yeah, about 100 mph faster than hovering.
That, sir, is a kite.
victorbravo77 8
Early in my flight training (C150) my instructor had me turn into the wind, configure for slow flight, and look out my left side window.

We were definitely hovering. Cross winds were the best!
Mike Mohle 3
Or going backward! Seemed that way on some X-Cs for sure.
matt jensen 3
Did that many times in a Beaver float plane in mountain passes. Also in Costa Rica in a C208
victorbravo77 3
Granted a 150's stall speed is only about 48 mph! Winds where I flew at 4500 - 5000 feet agl regularly topped 50 mph.
Scott Heng 4
Lowest ground speed of 89kts at 2,000ft on 3rd/last attempt... impressive.
Jeffrey Bue 4
I wonder how that felt being a passenger.
Victor Engel 1
There's another squawk from a passenger's perspective. Different plane, but they're all arriving at similar speeds, so probably similar.
Gary Eldridge 4
I've had this happen going into Cheyenne, Wyoming in my Bonanza. The wind from the west was so strong it took a while to land on Final. Downwind went really quick.

I didn't figure it out until I was taxiing back, and saw as I was moving at what I thought was a normal speed, my airspeed indicator coming on scale (the bottom of the scale is 40 knots) so I jammed on the brakes. And found that it was still up in the 40's.

So I taxiied carefully back to the hangar.

With regards to the above, that's an example of not understanding the physics. I'd have just increased speed - the ground speed was virtually nil. A few knots, and they could have landed safely.
I recall flying backwards in my Cherokee during primary training.
Gregg Ludlam 3
Certainly not hovering but lots of pitch, yaw and rudder action going on. Cool…
Duane Mader 2
Down to 102 kts at one point
Wow! It hovered for a long time! Love to see the faces of the passengers during this helicopter-type moment.
Don Fairchild 2
Considering the approach speed of an A380 (well above 100mph) that must have been one hell of a wind speed! Have to wonder about the validity of the video? Telephoto lens adds to the distortion as well.
SkyAware123 2
It was a very strong storm with very high windspeeds.
Don Fairchild 2
I once had the opposite effect while landing at MHT in a Cessna 182. Very strong tail wind as I entered the TCA, the tower ask me to slow down in the TCA! Had to laugh since that has never been asked before in a C-182!
victorbravo77 1
Tower to A380, "Position and hold." "Caution, prop wash, landing Cessna."

Old one but a good one!
I did this on my very first paramotor flight. Got up high in Wauchula, FL, made the turn to come back, and became what we call, PARA-parked! I had to descend to an uncomfortable level in order to make it back to the airport, hahaha! Took me a LONG time to get back! Was a great lesson in the effects of winds aloft.

To make the story even funnier, I had my iPhone set up in a Ram X-Grip mounted to the trike to film my very first takeoff. Well, the 2 X-mounts on either side of the phone apparently were able to press both side buttons at the exact same time, and somehow managed to dial 911! So as I was para-parked over a farm, the sheriff was over there talking to my instructor, lol! That earned me the callsign, "Smitty 911". Not so funny was my wife received a 911 alert on her phone showing my pinned location on a map of the airport, so she thought I had crashed & was hurt!

Story of my life - always an adventure, no matter what I do! :D
Gregg Ludlam 2
Ha - small world as I own property in the Wauchula/Bowling Green metropolitan area.🤣🤣🤣 I’ve seen you fly overhead!
Probably wasn't me - my instructor works out of Wauchula Muni (Florida Flight Sports), and has a constant stream of students there. I was there and took my 1st flight a year ago. I camped in Bowling Green while I was there. Loved the area!! I unfortunately live in the Northeast.
Gregg Ludlam 2
Ahhh - I own 2 RV lots at Torrey Oaks RV Resort off Bostick Road near the Bowling Green/Wauchula line, and when we're there, we occasionally see someone in an ultralight-type aircraft flying overhead. Thought maybe the world truly WAS that small!
Probably new students on some of their first flights, or my instructor and friends. Some times they have good sized fly-ins there where people come from all over the country.

I stayed at Hardee Lakes Park - I couldn't believe how cheap it was, even for an RV site! Prices up here are 5x higher. Sucked being in a tent, but was nice having water and electric. My air mattress melted from the heat, and swelled to 2x its original size, lol. I was sleeping like I was on a ramp, head down. Awful, hahaha! The 90° April days kept my mood very positive, though. :) Some day I want to move down there, but the wife isn't on board with that idea yet ...
WhiteKnight77 2
What did the A380 say to the other airplanes? Watch what I can do! ;)
hal pushpak 2
Looking at Victor Engels track post, there probably was a strong crosswind component too. Then reminding oneself that you're looking at ground speed data in the track stats, it was a bit of a roller coaster! Some amazing spikes there. (The slowest it got was 108mph ground speed, followed by a helluva "negative gust" that took it a/c to 300+mph within seconds after that--a bit harrowing to say the least..)
Victor Engel 2
Make sure you note the time stamps. The time between data points is inconsistent. Also, some of the items in the track log are stated as estimates.
Roy Hunte 2
Angle of perspective
Hardly hovering
21voyageur 3
Agreed. Interesting to watch but "word baiting" is a pain in the ()*(). A clear habit on this site.
Mark Kortum 2
Agree. The headline is just another misleading one. Making skeptics of us all.
adalbert29 3
Oh stop and have some fun!!
linbb 1
Got that right an aircraft as large as that looks slow but isnt when close. Have been flying a cessna and had a 747 doing touch and goes not far off looked the same.
victorbravo77 1
... after you initiate a go-around.
flyerh 1
Back in the '60's my xmilitary flight instructor told me of an occasion during world war II when a typhoon went through Hong Kong. The military put their fleet of bombers into the air and they flew stationary for several hours before landing once again. I have watched small aircraft going backwards over Toronto in a strong windstorm.
My thought is: What if the wind had suddenly changed speed or direction? It would have been a really bad day for everyone.
I wonder what my blood pressure is after watching this!
Oops, wrong thread
srobak 1
srobak 1
Geoff Arkley 1
Could bring a whole new meaning to the term "Boarding Ladder".
Henry Hughes 1
What if the wind suddenly stopped? The A380 had very low ground speed. Would it not have fallen out of the sky?
Fantastico en sus maniobras
meadowdrive5 1
Now that we’ve dissected this video, let’s talk for a moment about the passengers 💩 themselves.
Jim Isbell 1
On an early solo flight with less than 20 hours under my belt I went up in a Piper PA11 and when I returned an hour later the wind straight down the runway was 40+ MPH. I called my instructor on unicom after two attempts at landing and asked for instructions. He and a mechanic went out to the runway and as I set it down they ran over and grabbed the wing tips. I was too green to really grasp the seriousness of the situation. I thought it was fun.
Mark Weiser 1
Awwww c'mon guys you need rotary wings to get that buzz, as mentioned below, there is no feeling like "flying" forward or hovering while ground speed is s minus number - aka reverse. The "nam was the place for that!

Stay safe, it is a cool thought that a 380 could "hover" need a really lot of wind!!!!
Brian Freeman 0
A shame it was taped in black and white...old school.
Kevin Holly 4
Not black and white....just a very grey day. Trucks passing in front of the camera have colour on them.
SkyAware123 1
With that weather you won't see much color anyways if you did.
Juan Jimenez 0
I have to wonder what kind of an idiot even attempts such an approach in those conditions. And if you pay attention you can see birds who didn't have any problem with the wind, which makes the video suspect.
SkyAware123 3
Where else would he go ? Planes land in storms every day. Don't be a noob.
AWAAlum 1
Perhaps the winds were stronger at the plane's altitude than the birds.
Tony Blazis 0
If the wind that strong that an A380 would be hovering the person doing this video would not be able to stand.
SkyAware123 1
The person is shielded by the buildings around him. Open your eyes and you can see he is not in the open.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Larry Toler 1
Maybe he didn't have a diversion airfield at the time? It does happen due to weather or maintenance issues.
Bill Butler 3
Well he went around twice. If he did have a divert he probably couldn't have made if he didn't make it on the third approach.
Bill Butler 0
That was my immediate question. It's not like this storm was a pop-up surprise.
coinflyer -6
He really was hovering. Never seen a final last that long. Proof is he couldn't get her down and finally decided to go around, because if he had reduced power further to increase his sink rate he'd have been going backwards. And reducing flaps was just too risky.
Peter Fuller 2
Not really understanding why, when a stiff headwind is prolonging the approach, pilots would want to increase the sink rate, but this was certainly an unstable approach so they did the right thing by going around.
Stewart Smith -9
I'm not going to give your media player my credit card number just to play this video! Are you kidding? This is insulting.
David Stark 7
Are you sure you clicked on the right video? It's on YouTube.


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