DESPITE last week’s weather disruptions, there were some that benefitted from the gales of Storm Ali.

Prestwick Airport was used for crosswind testing as the 60mph winds proved ideal conditions to welcome the F-WMIL Airbus A350-1041 from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.

The plane arrived in Prestwick at 9.25 on Wednesday morning, September 19, planning to try out taking off and landing into the wind, a challenging task for any pilot.

Due to the imminent arrival of Storm Ali, crew planned to be at the airport 24 hours before. This allowed them to have the aircraft and technicians ready to fly the next morning.

As the storm was hitting the west coast, the airport were able to advise that crosswinds were due, making Prestwick a suitable location to stage the tests. With the wind gusting across the runway at between 50 and 60 mph at 11am, the aircrafts began their testing.

There were some spectacular take offs and landings before heading back to Toulouse at lunchtime. A technician was deployed at the threshold, adjacent to the end of the runway to measure the wind speeds during the testing.

These opportunities occur quite often in the town as Prestwick gets good crosswind, making it ideal for testing aircrafts when there are strong winds or storms.

These conditions can cause disruption for flights, but in this instance the marriage of location and weather was hunted for by the testers to take advantage of.