Etihad pilots hailed for making 'vertical' landing of A-380 amid strong winds at London's Heathrow airport

A screengrab from video footage obtained on Feb 15, 2020, shows an Etihad Airways Airbus A380 plane attempting to land during severe crosswinds at London’s Heathrow Airport. PHOTO: REUTERS/SPEEDBIRD TV

LONDON - Two pilots have been hailed for making an almost vertical landing of an Airbus 380 at London's Heathrow Airport, defying gusts from Storm Dennis that had forced several British airports to cancel flights.

In a video of the incident last Saturday (Feb 15) that has gone viral, the Etihad plane, controlled by two people, can be seen hovering above the tarmac as it attempts a "crab" landing - a manoeuvre that sees pilots fly the plane into the wind, perpendicular to the runway, Sky News reported. Winds of up to 80kmh were recorded at the international airport that day.

The United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways confirmed the aircraft had flown from Abu Dhabi to London.

The two pilots have not been identified.

A Khaleej Times reader who goes by the name "Ayesha munawar shakir taj" marvelled at the pilots' skills in a comment posted on the news site.

"Truly remarkable engineering and of course skilled pilot's experience. Good job on landing safely!!" the reader wrote.

Some 170 flights were disrupted as of Sunday morning at several airports in Britain due to the storm.

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