A crosswind landing: abort, retry, succeed

This footage was taken at Birmingham airport in England last weekend.  An Airbus A321 tried, and failed, to land in a nasty crosswind.  It had better luck the next time around.  Watch in full-screen mode for best results.

My bush pilot friends would call that ‘hairy’.  I can’t argue . . .



  1. I'm glad I wasn't on board – I'd have been a bit freaked. Landings always make me tense, even when they're going well. I guess its a good think I am NOT a pilot.

    On a tangent: Crosswinds greatly reduced the amount of manned flying at the WWI event I visited up in Dayton on Saturday. Apparently, crosswinds and replica WWI aircraft are not the best combination for safe flight. I managed to get some nice photos of them on the ground or when they were flying, and I have a few of the better ones in my Sunday night blog post.

  2. That wind must have been very strong. This reminds me of a show that was on a couple of years ago called Flying Wind Alaska. Crosswinds like this was everyday flying for them- but they were flying much smaller planes.

  3. I've seen similar, and worse. at the old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong, especially during a number 3 Typhoon warning.
    An attempted landing by Capt. Bent, the officer in charge of Cathay Pacific's Airbus program, tried landing during a good No. 3 warning, gusting cross-winds exceeding 40 knots when he discovered a slight error in the computer programming. The plane didn't want to land. After the sharp turn to starboard at Chequerboard Hill and the subsequent descent onto the runway, half-way down the computer opened the throttles and proceeded to try to climb.
    Capt. Bent had to fly the plane onto the runway far too fast and brake at almost tyre-bursting rates to slow down before he went off the runway into the sea. The computer wizards in Toulouse spent quite some time sorting out that glitch.

  4. If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going……

    The PIC should have final say on what happens during any flight operation, not a software engineer at a desk in France.

  5. Living full time in Bush Alaska (near Kotzebue), I fly in tiny planes all the time. Most of the pilots here would call that easy. "Look! Pavement!"

    Flying into a small village last week in super-dense fog, I was a little less than enthusiastic when the pilot of my C207, upon breaking out of the fog at 400' AGL, shouted "YES!", did a wingstand and literally DOVE for the runway.

    Turned out he really had to use the bathroom (a patch of gravel between 2 connexes).

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