Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds-Bradford passengers 'scream' during aborted landing

Scared passengers "screamed" as a pilot tried to land a plane at Leeds-Bradford airport in strong winds, those on board the flight said.

The pilot of the Thomas Cook flight later landed safely at Manchester after aborting the Leeds landing on Monday.

Passenger Layla Marks said: "The plane kept dropping and going from side-to-side. The pilot did very well."

Tim Cheal, from Thomas Cook, said: "Passenger safety is what we are fundamentally trained for."

'Bounced once'

Ms Marks, from Otley, who was on flight TCX8049 from Gran Canaria with her 10-month-old son, said she was "quite scared" as she was told by staff to keep a "tight grip" on her child.

"We bounced once and I knew we'd have to take off again," she said.

"Towards the end there was screaming and some people were crying and you could really feel the tense atmosphere."

Ms Marks said the pilot kept passengers fully in touch with what was happening throughout the aborted landing.

Writing on BBC Look North's Facebook page, Lewis Cowell said: "It was quite scary and a few people were screaming and people were crying.

"But the pilot reassured the passengers and we ended up diverting to Manchester."

'Handle crosswinds'

Tim Cheal, head of training at Thomas Cook Airlines, said pilots were trained to deal appropriately with all sorts of landing conditions.

"All pilots train to land in crosswinds and they go into the simulator every six months to refresh their crosswinds technique," he said.

"It's not uncommon for planes to have to divert to another airport, particularly at Leeds. Nor is it uncommon to have to handle crosswinds.

"But to have that level of wind experienced at Leeds-Bradford airport was unusual."

Mr Cheal said any pilot had "ultimate responsibility" for ensuring a safe landing, even if that meant flying on to another airport.

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