Video captured at the end of a British airport runway shows just how strong airline landing gear has to be to get passengers down safely in rough weather.
Pilots have to land in crazy conditions every day all over the world. Low visibility scares most passengers since they can’t see the ground, but most pilots will tell you that crosswind is actually one of the trickiest adversaries.
In this case, the pilot executed a “crab landing,” which sometimes happens when a pilot is faced with fierce crosswind conditions and has to land the plane at a funky angle on the runway. The crab-like motion comes from the moment the tires touch down, and the plane ends up “hopping” back into position as the pilot corrects the angle.
When the wind is blowing this strongly, the ideal situation is to “let the plane weather vane into the wind and correct just moments before touchdown,” Robert Skelton, a Virgin America pilot told TheBlaze. “Or you can actually land with the angle at touchdown and correct after.” Which is what the pilot did here.
See the Boeing 767’s bouncy landing, uploaded to YouTube by FlugSnug:
But a Delta Air Lines pilot sharply criticized the landing, telling TheBlaze in an email: “That is a grossly incorrect crosswind landing. He/she landed in a ‘crab’ which is wrong.”
“The correct way is at some point on short final use rudder to align the nose and upwind aileron to prevent drift due to the wind. Put it down firmly and then push the nose down to hold it there,” the pilot said.
Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter