With the world’s aviation industry on edge, a Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to make an emergency landing at London’s Gatwick Airport. The flight took off at 6:44 a.m. Eastern time from Gatwick and was bound for Las Vegas. At 10:55 a.m. Eastern time, the flight landed safely at Gatwick.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Plane Was Circling for Hours
The Daily Telegraph reports that the flight has been circling the English south east coast since takeoff. The paper reports that the plane was having problems with its right wing landing gear with Gatwick airport describing the problem as a “minor technical fault.” Around 20 ambulances greeted the plane as it touched down.
2. It’s Been Called a ‘Non-Standard Landing’
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman, speaking to ITV, said the plane was seeking to return to Gatwick and that the plane was making a “non-standard landing.” The BBC’s Travel Twitter account tweeted that other flights could be affected by the landing and that passengers are advised to contact their airline.
3. As This Crisis Unfolded, Air Asia Flight QZ8501 Remains Missing
This emergency comes 48 hours after an Air Asia plane went missing in Indonesian waters. The flight was carrying 162 people, mainly Indonesians. A senior Indonesian aviation expert has said that the plane is likely at the bottom of the sea. The BBC reports that oil slicks found during the search are unrelated to the Air Asia crash.
4. In October 2014, a Virgin Pilot Was Killed in the Mojave Desert
In October 2014, a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo test flight suffered an horrific crash in the Mojave desert in California. One of the pilots of the crash was killed, another was injured.
5. In 2012, a U.S. Bound Virgin Flight Had to Make an Emergency Landing at Gatwick
In April 2012, a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for Orlando out of Gatwick was forced to make an emergency landing back at the London airport after a small fire on board. Four people were injured during the evacuation but nobody was seriously hurt. That landing brought Gatwick to a standstill.