Many of you have probably seen the viral video of an Etihad A380 landing at Heathrow Airport during Storm Dennis, with strong crosswinds.
There have been tons of crosswind landing videos that have emerged as a result of the strong winds in the UK, though this one went most viral.
Interestingly the video doesn’t show that much of a struggle to get to the touchdown point, but what makes this video so “shocking” to people is the angle at which the plane touches down, and the extent to which it makes adjustments after landing.
Here’s the video for those who haven’t seen it:
Almost across the board you see praise for these pilots for the landing. Well, Etihad seems to disagree…
Paddle Your Own Kanoo notes the contents of a leaked memo that was sent out by Etihad’s pilot training department to pilots following this video going viral. The memo was sent out Etihad’s manager of pilot training for the Boeing fleet (which seems odd — the plane in question is an Airbus).
The memo references “a video this week of one of our A380s landing in a strong crosswind in London,” and states the following with regards to it:
“This official view from the Training Department is a simple one – THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT TO SEE. There is a time to give an approach away in the interest of safety.
If you see such a thing in the sim (aircraft simulator) that would be a grade 1 for both pilots… Please gentlemen, let’s teach our pilots to operate safely even that means changing the mission.”
Ouch! Beyond that, I also find it inappropriate that he refers to pilots as “gentlemen.” C’mon, you should know better than that…
Etihad doesn’t seem to be alone in criticizing this landing. I enjoy reading PPRuNe, essentially a forum for pilots. Of course anyone can participate and you can’t know for sure that everyone is who they say they are, though it has tons of airline pilots.
It’s interesting that the response to that landing was overwhelmingly negative in the thread there about this landing, while usually the pilots here would be downplaying landings that are sensationalized by the media.