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Praise For Pilots After Virgin Flight Makes Emergency Landing At Gatwick Airport

Flight VS43 appears to have had landing gear issues.

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Virgin Flight VS43, bound for Las Vegas, was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing at Gatwick airport this afternoon.

One passenger told The Mirror that some passengers were "anxious".

Dan Crane, from Bromsgrove, told the paper: "The mood was quiet and (we were) just waiting for the captain's next announcement." However, other passengers have told Sky News that the landing was "smooth".

Here's video footage of the landing.

View this video on YouTube

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There has been praise for the way the pilots handled the situation.

Biggest round of applause I've ever heard for a pilot landing. He's kept us informed the whole time of everything #VS43

Alexia@alexia_g88Follow

Biggest round of applause I've ever heard for a pilot landing. He's kept us informed the whole time of everything #VS43

4:24 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Well done @virginatlantic pilots & team for safe & skillful landing of #VS43. Thoughts with passengers & crew, thanks for support & patience

Richard Branson@richardbransonFollow

Well done @virginatlantic pilots & team for safe & skillful landing of #VS43. Thoughts with passengers & crew, thanks for support & patience

5:26 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Well done, pilot and crew of #VS43 ! Must have been proper scary for everyone concerned.

Jennie Bond@jenniebond1Follow

Well done, pilot and crew of #VS43 ! Must have been proper scary for everyone concerned.

5:41 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Emergency vehicles rushed to the plane.

These passengers appeared unconcerned by events.

Lmao our flight from gatwick to Vegas is all over the news, just made the Emergancy landing back at gatwick

Kris Edgerton@Kris_EdgertonFollow

Lmao our flight from gatwick to Vegas is all over the news, just made the Emergancy landing back at gatwick

3:51 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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@matt_shoreditch @robertrea everyone seems to be fine. We are going to be leaving the plane soon. Hopefully to board another plane #VS43

SunjayPatel@SunjayPatelFollow

@matt_shoreditch @robertrea everyone seems to be fine. We are going to be leaving the plane soon. Hopefully to board another plane #VS43

4:03 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

At Heathrow, passengers were watching the drama play out.

Are they sleeping? RT @hughwhitfeld: Relax before your flight by watching an unfolding plane drama. #VS43 #Heathrow

Flightradar24@flightradar24Follow

Are they sleeping? RT @hughwhitfeld: Relax before your flight by watching an unfolding plane drama. #VS43 #Heathrow

4:07 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Incoming and outbound flights from Gatwick have now been suspended.

Gatwick Airport will probably remain closed for some time.

Flightradar24@flightradar24Follow

Gatwick Airport will probably remain closed for some time.

3:51 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Virgin Atlantic is apparently checking the plane over before letting passengers off.

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Original story below.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic has confirmed to The Mirror that Flight VS43 will make a "non-standard landing procedure" at Gatwick airport shortly.

A Gatwick spokesman told BuzzFeed News:

We can confirm that Virgin Atlantic Flight VS043 which departed Gatwick Airport at around 11.45am is returning to Gatwick after the aircraft developed a technical fault. In line with standard procedure, emergency services are on standby at the airport purely as a precaution.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News the service is in "liaison with the airport following pre-agreed process for incidents such as this". They have a "number of resources on the scene" and staff/managers in support roles, she added.

#vs43 - RSCH hospital in Brighton, which is a major trauma centre for Sussex and the south east, is on standby for a major incident,it says.

Ben Leo@benleo89Follow

#vs43 - RSCH hospital in Brighton, which is a major trauma centre for Sussex and the south east, is on standby for a major incident,it says.

3:37 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The drama began an hour ago when the flight, which was bound for Las Vegas from Gatwick, was seen to have turned around and began circling its airport of origin.

Here’s a shot of #VS43 over Seaford.

The Mirror quoted an airline spokesperson who said:

Our Las Vegas flight turnback is actually a precautionary measure because of a small technical problem.

We're expecting it back at Gatwick very shortly and after that time I can send you an updated statement including plans to rearrange the flight for passengers.

Eyewitnesses posted pictures of the plane on social media. Some claimed that its landing gear was locked.

From the back of my camera the state of VIR43Es undercarriage on its fly.

Samuel Pilcher@SamPilcherFollow

From the back of my camera the state of VIR43Es undercarriage on its fly.

3:10 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Just under an hour since we first noticed #VS43 flying very low over our garden. Now going back out to sea.

Chris Philpot@ChrisPhilpotFollow

Just under an hour since we first noticed #VS43 flying very low over our garden. Now going back out to sea.

2:52 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told the Mirror:

Virgin Atlantic can confirm that flight VS43 on 29 December, travelling to McCarran International Airport Las Vegas, returned to London Gatwick due to a technical issue with one of the landing gears.

The aircraft is preparing to implement a non-standard landing procedure at Gatwick airport.

A further update will be issued as soon as possible.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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