Thanks to Thomas Kruse, I present you with the video of an Airbus A320 making a difficult crosswind landing in Hamburg, Germany.

What I wonder is when the pilot made the go-around decision. Everything I've read tells me that the jet engines in use on modern airliners take a few seconds to produce full thrust from and idle (landing) power setting.

I suspect there were a few moments of doubt about whether or not he'd be able to salvage it. Then again, I'm sure the passengers were pretty skeptical at one point too! :-)

Posted by jzawodn at March 03, 2008 07:33 AM

Reader Comments
# Erik Schwartz said:

I had a landing like that in Roatan Honduras once. Wingtip didn't quite catch the ground, but it was close. Scared the crap out of all of us.

on March 3, 2008 07:47 AM
# Carlo Zottmann said:

According to DPA ( the left wing did actually touch the ground and was consequently damaged.



on March 3, 2008 07:54 AM
# Jeremy Johnstone said:

Here's one one that same site which had me awestruck:

Check out the landings pulled off by the test pilot in the beginning in the 707. I also saw another one with a BA 747 on the site but forgot to save the link. The BA pilot really owned that landing considering how hard the apparent crosswind was.

on March 3, 2008 08:09 AM
# rr said:

In those conditions, I doubt the pilot had brought the engines back to idle yet. Looks to me like he went for the go-around as soon as he picked the wing up. You can see the engines power up as they drift left across the runway. Talk about a close call.

on March 3, 2008 08:26 AM
# Chris said:

Definitely a gnarly crosswind, and I hate to be an armchair quarterback, but I wonder if he was within the Flight Ops guidelines of his company?

Also, it looks like less than stellar crosswind technique judging on the fact that the right wing was hardly ever low into the wind.

on March 3, 2008 09:09 AM
# rr said:

Big jets don't slip into crosswinds (wingtip/engine clearance is one problem -- as this incident demonstrates -- as is passenger anxiety) but hold a crab until just before or after touchdown. Check out the gnarly videos of Boeing or Airbus doing their max crosswind tests.

on March 3, 2008 10:36 AM
# Wayne said:

Look at the A380 test linked in the wikipedia entry.
That was smooth.

on March 3, 2008 12:59 PM
# Charles Eicher said:

Maybe I shouldn't have watched that video, I'm flying in the morning. Let me check my itinerary.. oh crap, it's an A320. Let me check the weather at my destination.. double crap, a snowstorm with high wind warnings.

I have a feeling I'm not going to get much sleep tonight.

on March 3, 2008 09:38 PM
# Mikolaj said:
on March 4, 2008 12:22 AM
# tom said:

I'm not saying I could do better, but that was a pretty poor excuse for a X-wind landing attempt.

The "crab" method of X-wind approach, which the pilot didn't seem to commit to until he was well over the runway, requires a transition just before touchdown "to align the longitudinal axis of the aircraft with the runway".

This transition requires lowering the the upwind wing in order to prevent the aircraft from drifting downwind.

(I've been told that "the FAA" prefers the alternative "stabilized slip" approach, where the upwind wing is held down and the longitudinal axis of the aircraft is parallel to the runway throughout the approach. This video shows why.)

In the video, it is apparent that during the transition attempt, the upwind wing did not go down. It stayed level, then actually moved upwards. Student pilots are cautioned never to let the wind get under a wing on a X-wind landing because it can push the aircraft over.

That is exactly what is observed in this video. The upwind wing is pushed up and the entire aircraft is pushed to the left side of the runway.

This came extremely close to being a catastrophic accident.

NBC reported gusts of up to 150 mph. My question is, if conditions were that terrible, why didn't the pilot divert?

on March 4, 2008 11:31 AM
# G. Man said:

Just logged 13.5 hrs. flight time in Cessna's 172. My landing attempts look similar so far (with no cross wind), LOL.

on March 4, 2008 07:21 PM
# Charles Eicher said:

I just flew in from Florida and boy are my arms tired. :(

I can confirm from very recent experience, the A320 can stick a landing in a stiff crosswind. Fortunately the winds were nothing close to that incident on video.

on March 4, 2008 10:11 PM
# funnyvideo! said:

Yeah...i saw this one on metacafe..

what a landing! this video shouldn't be distribute to kids...scary stuffs!


on March 11, 2008 07:53 AM
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