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Watch an Airbus A380 go round and round and still not land

Technically Incorrect: It's bad enough to endlessly circle an airport in your car while trying to find parking. Try endlessly circling in a plane while trying to land.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Not exactly a classic routing, one suspects. screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you were on this plane, how might you feel?

You're about to land, then you don't. You're about to land again. Then you don't again. Then the pilot gives it one more go.

As the Manchester Evening News reports, an Airbus 380 was due to touch down at Manchester airport in the UK last Saturday. tracked the progress of the plane and a mesmerizing video resulted.

The plane keeps going round and round and round until it gives up and flies off to Heathrow. It lands there but takes off again and returns to Manchester, where it finally succeeds in touching ground.

It's not clear what actually happened.

Some passengers told the Evening News that the pilot said his computer was telling him the runway was too short. There were windy conditions that day too, because of a storm.

Emirates didn't respond to my request for comment. However, it told the Evening News: "Emirates flight EK019 from Dubai to Manchester on 26 March, was diverted to London Heathrow due to weather conditions in Manchester. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance and will not be compromised."

Airbus declined comment.

I, though, am merely wondering what it must have been like to sit in that machine and continually get near the ground only to rise back up again.

The plane attempted to land on two different runways in Manchester. It never managed to get below 1,100 feet before aborting takeoff.

It's tempting to believe that the repeated tries at a landing were a case of a pilot arguing with his software and trying to prove who was right. But who knows?

The story doesn't end there. As if windy conditions and the aerial so-close-yet-so-far routine weren't enough, some of the passengers complained afterward that they weren't fed for seven hours while the plane was performing its many landing maneuvers. The original flight from Dubai had lasted eight hours.

Emirates told the Evening News: "Due to the unplanned nature of the diversion, additional meals weren't loaded on the aircraft. These circumstances are out of our control and our No. 1 priority is to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew. We apologize for any inconvenience caused."

I'm surprised the passengers were hungry after all that going round and round.