Rich Gilmore, Australia Director for The Nature Conservancy, was travelling back from a conservation conference in the US when the flight was diverted.
“We were on descent into Tullamarine and pulled out of the approach. It wasn’t an emergency go-around but obviously an aborted approach,” he said.
“The pilot reported wind speeds were around 100km/h and that the wind shear warning was triggered. He described the situation as ‘very dangerous’.
“Fuel was low, so we have to refuel and wait for engineers from Avalon,” he said about 9am.
Mr Gilmore said despite the delay, the passengers on board were relaxed as they waited to take off again.
About 10.20am they were told a new pilot was on board and they would be departing shortly.
A severe weather warning has been issued for parts of the state for damaging winds, with northerly winds expected to continue throughout Friday morning, averaging between 60-70km/h with peak gusts of around 90 km/h in elevated parts of western and central Victoria.
“Melbourne Airport is the windiest place in the state at the moment, 100km/h was recorded there last night,” said Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Keris Arndt on Friday morning.
The SES received 110 calls for assistance in the past 24 hours, mainly in Ballarat, the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley.
The arrivals board at Melbourne airport shows several flights have been delayed by between 30 minutes and an hour.
In high winds, air traffic controllers at Melbourne Airport will generally limit operations to a single runway which means they lose a third of their capacity for planes to arrive and depart.
Simone is a breaking news reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Australian in Melbourne.