Virgin Atlantic VS43 Landing gear problems and the subsequent effect on Gatwick airport

On Monday 29th September at 11:44am, a Virgin 747 took off from London Gatwick for Las Vegas.  Shortly after departure the crew discovered a problem with the landing gear, and spend several hours dumping fuel, flying past the tower for visual checks, talking to engineering and trying to troubleshoot the problem.

At 15:45 after four hours in the air, the aircraft landed successfully back on the runway at Gatwick after discovering that one of the landing gear bogey’s had not deployed.

The passengers were disembarked on the runway and the aircraft was eventually towed away, however the incident had resulted in the closure of the worlds busiest single runway for almost three and a half hours.

This viz attempts to show that story, what happened to the VS43 and also the impact on Gatwick and easyJet, the airports biggest airline.

I could not have created this visualisation without the data from the chaps at and the help and support of and in particular Matthew Reeve, who created a similar viz recently when the UK ATC systems went down, so I have used his base as a template for this *doffs cap*.

Here is a link to the interactive viz:

VS43 screen

3 thoughts on “Virgin Atlantic VS43 Landing gear problems and the subsequent effect on Gatwick airport

  1. Great use of the storytelling feature and a really engaging story! One story point is missing: at what point were the passengers crapping their pants?

    1. Andy – thanks, still a few builds I need to make to it, maybe I can measure that and visualise it by changing the colour of the Virgin plane from Red to Brown at that point in the flight 😉

  2. Great use of the story points feature and great overall storytelling! Only one point missing: at what time did the passengers begin crapping their pants?

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