Heathrow denies mayday call reports
An airport has denied claims that aircraft unable to land at Heathrow made mayday calls during the latest storms.
It was reported that five aircraft attempting to land at Heathrow and Gatwick, West Sussex, were forced to declare emergencies on Friday, with the crews of three jets believing they were running out of reserve fuel and one plane reporting a problem with its rudder.
Passengers on one flight circling London screamed as it was tossed around by 60mph winds on Friday, according to The Sunday Times.
Jonathan Swain, an ITV reporter who was on the flight, said on Twitter that in all his years of travelling, that flight had been one of the "scariest".
He said: "Flights into HRW (Heathrow) being diverted. Our flight tossed around in air so aborted landing and then emergency landing in @manairport (Manchester Airport). Low fuel."
Other aircraft unable to land at airports in the South East were diverted to Manchester, where they were met by emergency crews, the paper said.
The report also claimed that four diverted jets made "mayday" distress calls, the most serious state of emergency, and that a BA flight from Moscow to Heathrow, with 143 passengers on board, declared a lower level emergency after its pilot aborted one landing as it was hit by a strong gust of wind only 30ft from the runway.
A Heathrow spokeswoman said: "There were no mayday or distress calls received at Heathrow.
"Due to high cross-winds some aircraft were diverted to other UK airports that have spare runway capacity."