As Gale Made an Extreme Sport of Heathrow Landings, He Called the Plays

As Gale Made an Extreme Sport of Heathrow Landings, He Called the Plays

Mr. Dyer made a point of describing the nationality of the airlines, saying at one point, “Let’s see how the Chinese do,” and at another, “Here come the Russians.” Big Jet TV was like the “Winter Olympics for plane landings,” Jon Sopel, a former North America editor of the BBC, said on Twitter.

“Let’s see how the Brits do with their 380,” he said as a British Airways jet lumbered into view in a fierce headwind. Mr. Dyer said he hoped that the airline would stay committed to the A380, a double-deck behemoth that carries 600 passengers but has fallen out of fashion. As a romantic, he praised the carrier for painting some of its planes in vintage livery.

“Smell that tire smoke from the 380, mate,” Mr. Dyer exclaimed from his perch, across a road and a chain-link fence from the runway.

In the gaps between planes, Mr. Dyer photographed a small herd of horses that gamboled around the field, stopping occasionally to rub their noses on the hood of his truck. He complained about not being able to drink coffee in the howling wind. He read out comments from new subscribers to Big Jet TV, from Ireland and the United States. And he juggled visits from film crews.

Mr. Dyer’s rough-edged style rubs some people the wrong way. When news of the death of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, interrupted a show last April, he snapped, “Long live the king, or whatever it is.” The next day, he made a contrite statement, saying he had reacted badly under stress.

On Friday, however, he was euphoric. “This is the best scenario you could possibly imagine,” he told BBC Radio. “Big kudos to the pilots and the crews working at the airports.”

While Mr. Dyer repeated his admiration for the skills of the pilots, an unmistakable glee crept into his voice whenever a plane looked to be having an especially gnarly approach. “He’s off center,” Mr. Dyer exclaimed of a wayward Delta Air Lines jet. “Careful, now,” he said as a 737 bucked and pitched in the wind.

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