A strong winter storm blew threw Halifax, Nova Scotia a couple of days ago, closing the airport. After the airport reopened, operations resumed, but this WestJet 737, seemed to want an early takeoff.
Here, we see the WestJet flight waiting peacefully at the gate, parked on top of its ice rink at Gate 18. You know, the usual Canadian winter. A few seconds into it, we see the nose of the plane start to move to our left, due to the wind pushing the tail from the same direction. Next, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer in a blue jacket runs in and attempts to hold the plane in place using one hand. I'm not sure what his plan was, but it could have potentially been catastrophic. Another strong gust could have blown the plane into him, or knocked him on his ass, injuring him. We can see his feet sliding as the plane continues to move about six feet from where it was originally chocked. Thankfully, he made it through unscathed.
Wisely, someone else comes and moves the belt loader away from the forward cargo bin - possibly preventing damage to the plane. Next, this person moved the chocks from the nose to the number 2 main gears (the back right ride of the plane). But again, on the ice this may not have helped much.
As a full-time airline ground handler, the first thing we do when a plane arrives at the gate is chock the plane (which we can see was done). Then after connecting the ground power cord, we hook up the tow bar to the nose gear, and the pushback tug is then driven up to the other end of the tow bar and attached with a massive pin. We can see that this wasn't done in this video. Had the pushback tug been attached to this plane, the weight of the tug probably would have anchored the plane and kept it from pivoting around in the wind. WestJet confirms this in the video's comments on YouTube by saying:
"This is truly a rare occurrence and even more rare to catch it on video. You really were at the right place at the right time! We are very happy with how our ground crew and TechOps AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer) handled this situation. Our AME (in the blue vest) was at the aircraft within 10 seconds and our ramp crews (yellow/orange vests) had all ground service equipment away from the aircraft within 40 seconds, which prevented any damage to the aircraft and kept our crews and guests safe while they secured the aircraft with a tug and tow bar. This video is a great reminder of the power of Mother Nature!"
Note: It's a long video, but there isn't really any action past about the 4-minute mark.
Here's another popular video shot in 2012 of a retired 747 in Mojave, California winds, looking like it wants to take to the skies one final time before being scrapped. Thinking about how heavy this plane was, it's just incredible!