A British Airways flight from Jersey to London Gatwick was urgently diverted on Tuesday night after Storm Brendan’s severe gales made it impossible to land safely.
Passengers who had set off for the capital at 20:11 had been due to arrive shortly after 21:00, but instead remained in the air for around two hours before making an unexpected landing in Birmingham Airport.
Amid turbulent conditions, the plane was forced to circle the airspace over Gatwick a number of times.
Two attempts were made to land, but the stormy weather proved too hazardous, leading a decision to be taken to divert the BA2777 flight to another airport.
An emergency ‘squawk 7700’ alert was subsequently issued at 21:37 to ensure priority landing in Birmingham.
Pictured: BA2777 from Jersey could not land as planned in London Gatwick due to the strong winds of Storm Brendan.
Passengers then made the 126-mile journey back to London in coaches provided by the airline.
A BA spokesperson said they were “sorry for the delay” to customers' plans, explaining: “Due to the strong winds at Gatwick affecting all airlines, the flight crew made the decision to divert to Birmingham.
"Our pilots are highly trained to deal with this sort of eventuality and will always err on the side of caution, as they did in this instance.
“The aircraft arrived safely and customers disembarked normally."
Pictured: The route taken by the flight, which had been due to land in Gatwick but was diverted to Birmingham. (Flight Radar 24)
But the Jersey flight wasn’t the only one to be thrown off schedule by the bluster of Storm Brendan, which saw heavy rain and gusts ranging between 50mph and 120mph batter the UK.
Some flights were grounded altogether, while the Telegraph reported that one Aer Lingus flight from London Heathrow to Belfast City Airport was so treacherous that passengers sobbed and phoned loved ones as their wind-pummelled plane diverted to Belfast International.
Back in Jersey, Victoria Avenue was closed westbound by the Grand Hotel after an orange weather alert warned of potential flooding caused by waves breaking over the sea wall, and debris on the roads.
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