Back to earth with a bump – or two, or three, or . . .

Here’s a video from Flugsnug illustrating how turboprop commuter airliners struggle in cross-winds when landing.  They don’t have the weight or high wing loading of jet airliners, which can cut through turbulence more easily, so they’re more badly affected.  Watch it in full-screen mode for best results.

I’m glad I wasn’t aboard any of those puddle-jumpers for those landings. They’re even more scary when you realize that the pilots of those planes are very likely to be recently qualified and relatively inexperienced, building hours at the lowest level of the airline business before being ‘promoted’ to the bigger jets. Personally, I’d want the most experienced pilot available in the cockpit during landings like that!



  1. I always smiled when a passenger would stick his/her head in the door and say: "I like seeing grey hair in the cockpit/flight deck."

  2. Those pilots may have been relatively inexperienced. but they all got the job done. Some of them were landing at angles of 30-45 degrees crosswind.

    I say "well done" to all of them.

  3. They also land at a slower speed, which makes a crosswind more interesting. Because geometry is a bitch.

  4. I noticed that the two flybe -8Q400s were landing with minimal flap extension.

    The windward wing will generate more lift in a crosswind gust than the leeward which is partially blocked by the fuselage. For every aircraft type there is a chart with crosswind velocity and angle to the runway that lists what is permissible and what is unsafe. I suspect that many of these landings were done on the edge of the unsafe zone of the graph.


  5. Meh. I've had worse in full size airliners coming into La Guardia. Any landing that doesn't involve a static line is a good landing.

  6. Talk to me after landing @ Dutch Harbor in September. Never got the stains out of my skivvies. Sideways ain't good, but I got off!

  7. Looks like some of my better landings.
    Best X wind I remember was landing at Lajes in the Azores. A C-130 with 45 knots wind at 45° crosswind. There is no crosswind limit in the AF C-130. The crosswind chart has a vertical line, that, to the right of it says " Increased Pilot Skill Required."

  8. I rode Reeve Aleutian Airways flying Lockheed Electras into Adak Naval Station a couple of times (C-130 one other time, and jump seat in a C-141 another, which was a grand view for the "marble in a toilet bowl" approach they had to fly that day). I've never felt turbulence like that first flight into Adak! I felt like a die in a cup being shaken around. It really gave me an appreciation for what the Navy P-3C Orion pilots did almost daily. Taking a psych class that was held at the air strip's fire station, the klaxon went off and all the firemen bailed. It was night, raining (of course) with 30 knot winds with gusts up to 45 knots, and the Orion had 2 engines out and nowhere else to go. They did set it down fine. USAF cargo planes would usually abort and fly back to Elmendorf in moderately bad weather, but those Orion and RAA pilots with their turboprops just kept on trucking.

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