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This Gizmodo link shows that a commercial passenger aircraft can stay at single location without any movement with respect to ground. (Is it real, an illusion, or faked?)

I have heard a friend saying that this happens for flights into Heathrow airport when the runway is busy with many aircraft required to land. I have argued with him about the holding circuit which basically requires airliner to follow a path around a airport, he is for sure that he has experienced such a thing happening when he was on board and also saw it live many times.

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    $\begingroup$ It requires a strong headwind. And separation is still in effect. This means that airplanes are still 5 nm out from each other. $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Feb 9 '16 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen that video before, and at no point does it stop in mid air. Aircraft as a matter of operation do not "hover", and definitely do not happen as part of a holding operation around an airport. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Feb 9 '16 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ As is so often the case, the perspective fools those who don't understand how aircraft fly. There is no way that the headwind was strong enough to reduce the ground speed to zero (they would not be flying the display if it was, or indeed, flying at all). It's just an illusion. $\endgroup$ – Simon Feb 9 '16 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Whose livery is that on the aircraft in the video? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Feb 9 '16 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag I have to disagree. We have no way of knowing, but I seriously doubt that the ground speed was less than say 100kts at any point. Look at the umbrellas and other wind speed clues. I doubt that the wind at that height was any more than 20/30/40 kts or so. It did not produce an extremely low ground speed. It is 100% illusion caused by perspective. Our brains are lousy at judging speed at height from oblique angles. If you had a fixed reference, for example under the aircraft, it would not have appeared slow at all. $\endgroup$ – Simon Feb 9 '16 at 20:45
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NO, at least not during landing. And especially not an Airbus.

Two reasons:

  1. While up in the jet stream a 150 knot wind is normal, wind over 100 knots (185 km/h, 115 mph) near the ground only occurs in hurricanes (and tornadoes) and would be so turbulent that landing it it would be most likely out of question.
  2. When landing in strong head wind the pilots will use higher air speed. This is because strong winds have a nasty habit of changing in strength or direction quickly and if the head wind reduced suddenly, the plane would loose lift and crash. So the pilots maintain some minimum ground speed to have a safety margin for that case.

Airbus even has a minimum ground speed warning exactly to keep the pilots out of this risky flight regime and that would be blaring in cockpit if the A330 in the video really almost stopped in midair. There must be something wrong with it (the linked article does not link to a video, only a screencap and one can't tell from screencap what is going on).

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can a commercial passenger aircraft stay at single location without any movement with respect to ground?

In theory it could, with strong enough headwinds, low weight (no passengers nor cargo or baggages), deployed high-lift devices.

In the video it does not happen and I seriously doubt it has ever happened in real life.

i have heard a friend saying that this happens for flights in Heathrow airport when the runway is busy with many aircraft's required to land.

This is simply false

i have argued with him about the holding circuit which basically requires airliner to follow a path around a airport

That is correct

he is for sure that he has experienced such a thing hapening when he was on board and also saw it live many times.

Either he as flown in an An-2 (see linked question) or he simply dreamt about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ It would be interesting to add whether a passenger may feel that the aeroplane is not moving, while actually descending. $\endgroup$ – Pere Mar 12 '19 at 18:27
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An airplane cannot stand still in the air as it requires air flow over the wings to create lift. An airplane can be stationary over the ground if the air is moving over the ground quickly enough. A lightly weighted aircraft can fly slower than a heavy one, but even flying just above stall speed you would need a headwind well over 100mph in order for a jet to be stationary with respect to the ground.

In this video the airplane appears to be flying must slower than it actually is due to the angles viewed and other factors. It was never stationary with respect to the ground. Commercial jets don't "hover".

What does happen when there's traffic is that they are put into a holding pattern. This is generally away from the airport, not around the airport.

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