By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The strong, gusty winds that whipped up fires and took down trees all over Southern California were also an issue for pilots landing planes in Southern California.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday directed planes Los Angeles International Airport to take off and land in reverse, from the east instead of the west, with the easterly Santa Ana winds blowing through the area.

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The reversed configuration at LAX is done occasionally when the wind shifts dramatically or swirls in the other direction because it’s safer for pilots to fly into the wind, according to airport spokesman Heath Montgomery. He said the reversal started at about 6:30 a.m. and remained in effect after 7 p.m.

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The eastern flight pattern happens less than 5% of the time annually at LAX, according to Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency overseeing Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.

(credit: CBS)

At Ontario Airport, wind gusts battered a few planes trying to land. The tower said a few planes were not able to lane, while other pilots decided it would be safer to divert to other airports in the area.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)