Hundreds of airline passengers endured nervous moments on Monday as planes bound for Perth were forced to abort landings at Perth Airport due to severe weather conditions, which saw almost 100ml of rain dumped on the city overnight.
At least two services — Qantas flight 573 and Virgin Australia flight 470 — both from Brisbane, were forced to circle after initial landing attempts were thwarted by strong cross winds.
Both planes were lined up on the airport’s shorter east-west cross runway but eventually landed on the main north-south runway.
The Qantas flight touched down on its third attempt. No-one was injured on either aircraft.
Passenger Naomi Twyford was on board flight VA470 and said the aborted landing came as a surprise.
“We weren’t far to touch down. Wheels were down and we weren’t far off the ground,” she said.
“And just at the last moment we took off again. He hit the accelerator and up we went.
“The pilot had warned us earlier that it was going to be a little bit bumpy coming into Perth, so he was definitely not having us on or exaggerating at all.”
Ms Twyford praised the actions of the pilot.
“He immediately came on air and told us what had happened and what we were going to do,” she said.
“But he got us on the ground. And as you can imagine the plane just erupted into applause, because it was very, very scary up there.
“It was a pretty horrifying landing.”
220 calls for help as Perth floods
Wind gusts in excess of 60 kilometres an hour were recorded at Perth Airport late yesterday, and strong wind shear below 1,000 feet is believed to have caused problems for incoming and outgoing flights.
The conditions were caused by the remnants of ex-Tropical Cyclone Joyce, which pummelled Perth with heavy rain for much of Monday.
The State Emergency received more than 220 calls for help overnight, while the city recorded 96 millimetres of rain — the wettest January day since 104 millimetres fell on the city on January 22, 2000.
Duty forecaster Noel Puzey said the system produced wind gusts of 90 kilometres an hour, and was this morning moving into the south-west land division.
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“We’ve seen, at least for the Perth metro area, that Rottnest Island has had 142 millimetres of rain, Swanbourne and Bickley more than 138, 96 millimetres for Perth metro site and 118 for Jandakot,” said Mr Puzey.
“So there’s been plenty of falls above 100 millimetres through much of the metro area.
“It should be off Cape Leeuwin by sometime later this evening, but most of the rainfall has started to clear at least from the northern suburbs in the Perth metro area.”
A number of intrastate flights were delayed by several hours, with services to Broome seemingly the most affected.