AN AIRCREW fled their plane today after it was picked up and spun round by a huge gust of wind.
The 10-tonne passenger plane had just landed at Edinburgh Airport and was parked on the tarmac when it was suddenly blown sideways.
Firefighters were scrambled to the airport after receiving reports that the plane had struck a wing off the ground.
The incident happened shortly after noon as gale-force winds, dubbed “Hurricane Bawbag” by social media users, began to batter the east of Scotland.
The plane, believed to be a Dornier 328 turboprop, was being prepared for its return flight.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue service said: “The wing of a plane was swung round by the wind and made contact with the ground.”
The spokesman said they scrambled to the airport at 12.10pm today after hearing that there had been an ‘air to ground incident.’
The airport’s own fire service also responded and dealt with the incident before the bigade arrived.
AnEdinburghAirportspokesman played down the incident, saying: “A plane was blown slightly by the wind, which caused it to pivot off its chocks. There was minor damage to its undercarriage.”
The spokesman for the airport said they had no information that the wing of the plane struck the ground.
He said no-one was hurt in the incident and there were no passengers on the aircraft.
The Dornier 328 carries up to 33 passengers and three crew. The airport spokesman said their information was that the flight was operated by ScotAir.
It weighs around 10 tonnes before being filled with fuel, passengers and luggage.
The gales disrupted several flights atEdinburghtoday.
One passenger, a tourist fromOregon,USA, gave a vivid account of a pilot’s repeated attempts to land.
Alyssa Powell, on a KLM flight from Barcelona this morning, said: “It was absolutely terrifying flying in. The plane felt like it was going to crash.
“I was freaking out. We were on our descent and were just about to touch down when all of a sudden we took off again.
“The pilot said it was too windy so we circled four more times before we could land.”
Ashley Hodges, a communications manager from London, described his wait to disembark from a plane at Edinburgh Airport on Twitter.
He claimed the airport was concerned about using steps in the high wind to let passengers off.
He Tweeted: “Edinburgh airport ‘not happy to operate the steps in this wind’. We are stuck on the plane. Getting motion sickness from the swaying.”
By early afternoon, 17 flights had been cancelled, seven departures and ten arrivals.
A Flybe spokeswoman said it had diverted some flights toNewcastledue to the adverse weather.
She said: “Passengers were then transported by road to Edinburgh.
“The safety of its passengers and crew is the airline’s number one priority.
“Flybe regrets any inconvenience experienced due the weather conditions that are entirely beyond its control.”