Ouch: Etihad Criticizes A380 Pilots For Viral Crosswind Landing

Filed Under: Etihad

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.

Comments
  1. Doesn’t look safe to me. Best guess the pilots weren’t out of options and landing right then and there wasn’t the only option.

  2. Seems to me that the Stationary Hard Surface could not move for the wind in question. My best guess would be …WHO IS IN COMMAND OF THIS AIRCRAFT? Not the management of ETHIAD, next is how did this video appear on the approaching active runway. I would think they should never have been allowed that close to the active runway! Never-The-Less the pilot in command had to make a last minute decission and he chose to do this GREAT landing. Question now comes to mind…how much fuel.did he have left, were was the flight origin from and the enroute weather conditions. Its always easy to critize someone for doing the right thing to get some Dumb Ass in the news. THUMBS UP TO THAT PILOT and his Team… you can fly with me anytime!!

  3. ‘Ouch! Beyond that, I also find it inappropriate that he refers to pilots as “gentlemen.” C’mon, you should know better than that…’

    It’s the UAE Ben, not your average Western-European country.

  4. I see nothing different in this than any of the crosswind videos out there. They always look more dramatic than they are. Seems perfectly stable and in control.

    Watch the Lufthansa A320 crosswind landing in Hamburg a few years ago (google it). Now THAT was sketchy as heck.

  5. Unfortunately these gusty conditions brings out the voyeurs, and everything gets published online. We’ve seen poor techniques lead to demotions and dismissals in other airlines, purely because of the video going viral.

    In this case the video ended up being positive PR for the airline, largely because the public generally don’t know any better.

  6. I’d normally be with you on the ‘gentleman’ comment, however I believe that was meant for whomever this is addressed, which I’m assuming are males. The person is asking them to ‘please teach our (Etihad) pilots to operate safely.

  7. Did the plane veer off the runway? That might be an indication of why a fly around might have been a safer decision.

  8. You haven’t an idea who the recipient of the message was, so I find it inappropriate that you cast him in such a negative light. It’s commonplace to use that type of language when you (as the sender) know who’s on a given distribution list.

  9. Gentlemen was likely referring to the training dept at Ethidad who “could” be all men. I doubt He was referring to all the pilots.
    The full picture is definately not known but if this letter was sent after investigation .. I’m guessing the pilots had a better or second option available to them.

  10. This was a horrible landing they never attempted to roll out of the crab. That could have sheared the main gear off the aircraft.

  11. In Sydney years ago when flying BA from Sydney to Bangkok, the ground staff supervisor when directing the group of pilots through a barrier said “Good Morning, Gentlemen, this way please”. Not sure what was wrong in using Gentlemen in that context and in this post.

  12. The memo seems to be addressed to a small audience, such as heads of training sections etc rather than to all pilots. The line “let’s teach our pilots ” suggests so anyway. Therefore the recieptients may all be Male so the gentleman reference could be perfectly accurate.

    As for the comments on the landing, no idea I’m not a pilot, the writer is, seems his opinion is more valid than mine.

  13. @Marco Its because Lucky believes that by saying gentlemen, they ignore the female pilots on Ethihad.

    But that gentlemen was most likely directed at the training supervisors, which might be male.

  14. Knowledge, skill and experience results in resolving a situation the best way, under the circumstances. What is the issue, under these circumstances?

  15. Yes, let’s focus on the use of “gentlemen”. I mean, how else would the world know we’re woke and totes victims of a h8 crime omg?

  16. @ Rob … You nailed it!

    As an aside the reference to “gentlemen” is entirely appropriate if the crew was all male. Otherwise strike the word from the English dictionary.

  17. They didn’t fight the wind, they went with it. A/c nose into wind on the ground and a slow roll to the halt.

  18. All the idiots thinking the plane went on the grass/went off the tarmac. Look again, the runway and surrounding area isn’t flat, he turned left onto tarmac!

  19. Apart from the sexist remark I think their stand is spot on. Heroics aside, this landing was risky and I would certainly rather have the pilot divert then go through something as harrowing as this.
    I would definitely NOT want to be on this flight.
    Not that I condone it but does Etihad have any female Pilots out of interest?

  20. You immediately lost credibility with me when you threw out a PC, “oh, Ethiad is sexist” comment… You’re a tool. How would you know if the sim instructors are all male or not?
    PS- As an airline pilot myself, that was a GARBAGE x-wind landing.

  21. Under these kind of circumstances, the Cabin Crew explain to the PAX exactly what is happening and reassure them. Having been on a BA 747 on Cat 3 Auto-Land in thick fog at Heathrow (1979), that is exactly what the Cabin Crew did.

  22. Airbus has published crosswind limits. If the Crew landed in excess of the limits? Did they declare an Emergency?

  23. The aircraft touched down smack in the middle of the runway, with right main gear to one side of centerline, and nose gear to the left. The lights most prominent in the video are the runway centerline lights, not the edge lights. This is very clear near the end of the video.

  24. @yawpedal

    That is NOT how you land in a crosswind. Yes on final you allow the a/c to crab into the wind to maintain the center line or localizer. But at about 50 ft you apply rudder and aileron to center the yaw axis with the center line of the runway. If you don’t you run a real risk of damaging the landing gear or the a/c running off the runway!

    Also in a cat 3 auto land the autopilot doesn’t try to make a soft landing under those conditions it is programmed to touch down at a certain ft per minute decent rate to ensure wheel spin up which activates spoiler and auto brakes. But it will still center the yaw axis with the runway and track it during roll out.

    THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED. Any one who is a pilot knows these gentlemen screwed up.

  25. Rob.
    You are wrong.
    Modern airliners CAN be landed with full crab still applied (although it is not necessarily the recommended method).
    This is one of the criteria for the max cross wind certification.
    Rob.

  26. Cool landing, skilled pilots. I can’t comment beyond that without knowing all the facts.
    And, I am female and I have no problem with being in a group addressed as “gentlemen”. I despise the “gentlemen, and ladies” with a nod in my direction. Being singled out amongst your peers is inappropriate.

  27. Uh Rob, anyone who is a pilot should also know that not all planes need to be decrabbed prior to landing. Many of them have gearv that articulate and allow the plane to be landed in a crab.

  28. I’d be surprised if they landed in the landing zone, meaning that they had less runway remaining to stop in. Landing calculations have some fat it them, and so they got away with it, but they reduced their safety margins.

    The second issue with the landing, as I see it is, that there was no attempt to align the aircraft with the runway before touchdown, putting excessive loads on the landing gear and tyres, and causing controllability issue after touchdown – as can be seen by the aircraft squirming on the runway.

    Both of these things make the possibility of a runway excursion more likely; that they got away with it speaks more to the safety factors built into flight operations and the structure of the aircraft than the skill of the pilots.

    Finally, the issue of whether the pilots were Chuck Yeager or Chucky Cheese. The fact is that it’s not hard to fly low over the runway – simply don’t close the throttles, which covers the float. A proper crosswind landing with the aircraft aligned with the runway is more difficult than what they did – which was plonk it down and let the landing gear to the work. However, some aircraft are certified for crab landings; having never flown one, I don’t know about the A380.

  29. In all fairness to the pilots it should be noted that the position of the camera and the extrem Zoom make this landing seem more extrem than it actually was. They did not properly decrab, ok but it doesn’t take much bank to damage the inboard engine pot on a A380 in strong crosswind landings

  30. 787 requires decrab only after touchdown contact in wet runways.
    This rwy was more than wet…not all planes are similar, but some follow the same principles.

  31. While you want to De-Crab a bit and add some upwind aileron and downwind rudder (slip) so that the aircraft initially touches down on the upwind main landing gear, this technique needs to be used with a great deal of caution in a FOUR engine aircraft. The real possibility exists of getting an engine cowling pod strike with the upwind outboard engine. Depending on the model of aircraft, you can only touch down with as little as a 1 or 2 degree bank angle before you get a pod strike. I have personally experienced this while flying the re-engined DC-8.

  32. …or we just let the qualified personnel go about their jobs without having to be cross examined by an unqualified yet opinionated public forum.

  33. Etihad is absolutely correct. The TOGA switch should have been pushed. Cowboys and hero’s have no place up the pointy end.

  34. Really EY?.! You are pissed off by this. Then what exactly are pilots getting paid for yes safety shall always be kept in mind however this is almost a normal landing and from a layperson not piloting that specific a/C no safety seems to be breached and rather a diversion was saved as well (am sure if that occurred you would be saying to these pilots what they are getting paid for)

  35. Agreed with the above. The extreme zoom on the video makes the movements look far more extreme than they likely were in reality. At the end of the day the plane is safely on the ground, and without access to all the information of what occurred during the landing I suggest giving the pilots the benefit of the doubt unless or until an investigation shows they messed up. Nobody likes a peanut gallery judging their performance in adverse conditions when said gallery was not in the hot seat themselves.

  36. Good grief!! Please give some credit! At least they landed safely and thank them for it. My goodness! On behalf of everyone on board, thank you for getting us down safely under such difficult strong winds. Thank you.

  37. Hello..

    Just to Clarify..

    Everything was fine, up until the Landing..

    Why?

    Let me explain.

    I don’t know what the winds were that day but, every Aircraft has what’s called a crosswind limitation.. It’s calculated with different weather conditions.. Wet runaways, dry runaways, snow covered, etc..

    So let’s say the A-380 crosswind limitation that day was 35 knots of speed.. And let’s say the maximum wind speed directly from 90 degrees off the centreline of the Airplane is 35 Knots, then you can continue the approach.. If it’s more your not allowed to land.. Period! Otherwise your not guaranteed that the Airplane won’t be damaged and people injured.

    Now the Landing..

    As the Airplane approaches, we can see that it is pointed towards the wind.. We call that a Crab.. According to the Airbus Flight Crew Techniques Manual you need to De Crab, in other words straighten out the Airplane before Landing.. And that’s what they didn’t do.. That puts TREMENDOUS sideways strain on the Landing gear..

    Cheers

    P.S. Gentleman is globally accepted in the Aviation community. The Lady pilots included as well..

    As well.. All Airplanes are referred in the Female Gender….

  38. Yes. Now watch the rudder. Not only was it not de-crabbed, the PF gave a healthy dose of additional crab right before touchdown. That makes it ugly. I know, stormy xwind landing in the UK=spotters on full alert, but nobody wants to see a Skytanic pretending to be a BUFF.

  39. Everyone has an opinion it seems. Its surprising how little most people with an opinion seem to know about flying an A380 and how it works!

  40. Lucky, he referring to the pilot instructors. If the instructors were male, then it would make sense to write the term “Gentlemen”. Please re-read things twice before you unfairly tag a company as sexist.

  41. Long telephoto lenses severely distort perspective. This should be taken into account and this footage alone shouldn’t be used for disciplinary purposes.

  42. If the pilots can’t do a landing like that, or make such a judgement call in such adverse conditions, then the pilots shouldn’t be flying such an aircraft (good luck finding pilots who would do much better, considering the situation). If the conditions are that bad, the airport should be criticized for allowing the runway’s use during such a storm. If the aircraft can’t handle such a landing, including the correction made after touchdown, even on dry pavement the aircraft should not be in service. If the airline criticized the pilots for such a judgment call, they could have elected to prioritize safety over arrival records.

    I think the pilots did fine considering the size of the aircraft, what’s at stake, and the current weather conditions. I would trust these pilots with my life, because they knew how to make this maneuver in an A380, now with experience of having done so in a real-world situation. They will teach these methods in the future. Judging exactly when to kick a massive plane like this back straight while listening to the plan tell how high it is off the pavement can’t be easy, and so far, nobody’s claimed there was no sudden, last-second drop of the aircraft.

    So, for Ethiad and the other critics, I say many of them should be glad such a feat is possible and that aircraft quality, durability, training, and design are a huge accomplishment considering how many people and businesses take flight for granted.

  43. Andy is correct in what he says. Furthermore, the Airbus documentation is very understanding having regard to real World situations. You can still have ‘crab’ on at touch-down, a sudden Wind Differential will make things either worse or better. Airbus are quite understanding of that in their description of force changes, at the moment of touch-down. Therefore, it has to be considered that the Pilots ‘flew’ the a/c with dynamic adaptability, in order to effect the required result.

  44. A good landing is one that you walk away from.
    A great landing is one where you get to use the aircraft again.

  45. Ohhh God … Male Female what ever. All the more I will travel Etihad as I see that The pilots did a good job. Sitting outside and seeing the video and grab and opportunity and pounce . Not done . We as travellers see He did not crash land as we have seen ample of videos of planes which bang down or catch fire with engines in huge strain of planes that shoot off the run way, landing gears giving up etc etc etc . Kudos to pilot and co pilot for the best you did at that given point in time . No injuries to passengers is all seen by us . These days people make a big thing . Dont bother. Training dept do u know what ? you are Doing a good job and so are ur pilots. Dont reprimand pilots I am sure they did best deemed fit at that given point in time. Else u would have seen this aircraft into the grass shortly which did not happen. I definitely would fly Etihad to Heathrow hands down now. I am no expert but all i see is a good job and good efforts put in. Let people say and do whatever they want. NK

  46. If the pilots had gone back round again surely the same problems on landing would be the same.At least the plane was landed.

  47. Runways are poorly designed to save on “so much valiable paches of land”.
    Why didn’t the airport have another runway?

  48. The only difference I see is in most crosswind landing, the adjustment is made right before touchdown while this 380 make adjustment after touchdown. If this is not safe, civil aviation authority already open an investigation over this.

    For that person that questioned why the people who is filming the landing “allowed” to stay near the active runway, there is a thing called zoom lens. With this lens, you can stay outside of the airport, outside of the restrictive area but still can get a close up shot.

  49. B-52 Bomber can land crabbing into the wind, while the landing gear is aligned with runway.

    Otherwise, the airport should have several runways to match wind directions.

  50. This video brings up an interesting idea. It looked like the wind was so strong that the plane had slowed to a very slow ground speed right before landing and so it came to a stop relatively quickly. As we move into the era of stronger winds, we will need better ways to land. If a plane can be stopped relatively quickly in high winds, then a circular landing pad the diameter of the landing distance would provide a safer way to land in these high winds from any direction. I’m not a pilot so pardon my ignorance if this is already known.

  51. The bottom line is they landed a A380 in very difficult conditions and did so with no damage to the aircraft. I love all the camel jockeys with their opinions and second guessing. Give me a break.

  52. Airbus has published crosswind limits. If the Crew landed in excess of the limits? Did they declare an Emergency?

  53. He’s not addressing all 380 pilots at Etihad, only the trainers (which are apparently all male) so enough with the overly touchy feely PC mumbo jumbo.

    Additionally, the A380 has a manufacture published limit of 5 degrees residual drift on touchdown which is the main issue here. The side loading on the poor landing gear is immense on the landing in question as they’re waaaaaay above 5 degrees. It was indeed a horrendous crosswind landing and I sincerely hope they inspected the gear afterwards…

  54. Dear God. I’ve alot of respect for these great graceful birds & their controllers that carry us around the globe. I held ma breath when I saw this video, watching this magestic bird going through such stress touched me straight to the heart. This should never have been allowed to happed no matter how experienced the pilots are. These birds have to be kept in top notch condition in order to fly us around safely, not to be put through this kind of stress when there were other options in the first place.

  55. Don’t believe anything you read and only 50% of what you see.

    People post things that look dramatic to make money. Therefore the wilder it looks…

    There is another video of the same plane landing from the opposite perspective and it doesn’t look at all dramatic.

  56. Remove “gentlemen” from English language?! Oh christ, really?? It was once considered polite to use such an honorific but now the woke brigade has gone full-facist with language, thoughts, ideas, etc. The strain on the landing gears could have caused huge damage with a landing like that.

  57. I believe the company read crosswind at time of landing. And most likely the x-wind was outside limitations for the A380. That is unsafe outside the envelope that AIRBUS tested. They got lucky this time .

  58. One aspect of this crosswind landing obsession the plane spotters in Britain enjoy, which has not been mentioned: Lack of crosswind runways. As I understand it, the land values have grown so high that some airports are actually removing crosswind runways to re-purpose the real estate into something more lucrative than simply a place to land airplanes. This is fine as far as it goes, until the wind changes direction and blows from a different quadrant than “normally”. A different but related factor in this particular case is that the A380 is so massive that there are not many (certainly not all) runways built strong enough to accommodate it’s great weight, so even if a crosswind runway were available to other airplanes it may be weight limited and thus closed to use by the A380. As a result of what I would consider poor aviation infrastructure planning, I think Britain sees more of these dramatic, and challenging to fly, crosswind landings than any other country.

  59. Great landing, great pilots Skill and a great plane. It’s a safe plane. I have plenty of confidence in that plane. To the pilots – great job. I will fly any time with you…. i will always feel safe in your hands. Keep the good skills up. Cheers

  60. @ Lucky –
    “Please gentlemen, let’s teach our pilots to operate safely even that means changing the mission”

    With respect, look at the language: this is not directed at the pilots, but rather the aircrew trainers. In the UAE, they are very likely to be all men. I would be surprised if it were otherwise.

    @everybody else

    I dont fly an A380, so I dont know what its crosswind limits are. But I can watch that video and note that there wasnt a whole lot of sway that required damping in the rear of the aircraft after touchdown when the jet straightened up – which would be indicative of energy generated on landing not being directed or dissipated where it was designed to go. That alone tells me the landing gear had to have at least a modicum of gimbal. None of us were in the cabin so none of us knows what criteria the aircrew based their decision to land on, none of us knows the fuel state of the jet, or even if available divert options were viable. Landing at LHR, you dont have a lot of choice in runways. Long and short of it, they put the jet on the runway, on center line, no damage to aircraft, no injuries to crew or passengers, in conditions that were challenging. If for some reason there are training issues to sort out, then that is the purview of the aircrew training community, not us or indeed management. Finally, Storm Dennis was a flaming beast. Winds were bad all over the UK. Crew did well.

  61. Nicely pulled out of context for the sake of sensationalism. The criticism was of the pilot in command landing at all rather than diverting or holding, when so many other flights had.

    This isn’t journalism, this is rubbish.

  62. The leaked mail to it’s Boeing Trainers seems to be an inside Boeing Vs Airbus issue. There are X-Wind limits established by operators / Manufacturer. Cross wind landings withing those limits are practiced in Simulator. If the landing was beyond the prescribed limits, why Etihad has not taken action against the pilots? And if it was within the laid down limits then whats the problem? Pilots have down their job to the best of their ability. There is an inherent risk in flying itself. Then ban the flying.

  63. Pilot needs to registered and have a special number on his lapels to say he can fly.
    Makes me laugh how pilots criticise model enthusiasts putting lives at risk by flying their models in the local park and near missing a plane at 1000ft then they go and do this.
    First thing on his mind should have been ‘ill go around’

  64. Since the letter was obviously sent to the pilots in question, I’m sure the company knew their identity and hence the use of “Gentlemen”. I find it strange that you find the term inappropriate unless you’re one on the “non binary” believers. In any event, how would you have addressed the recipients ?

  65. I can’t believe you shamed him for using the word “gentelmen”, without knowing who the email was addressed to. The email was clearly sent to a select few people, not every pilot at Etihad. That’s the real problem with liberal scum like yourself. Alaways looking for a reason to get offended.

  66. Your favored PPRuNe forum (Professional Pilots Rumor Network) is made up of just as many, perhaps more, 14-year-old would-be pilots, FlightSim players with no actual flying experience, and novice private pilots as it has its supposed “professional pilots.”

    The actual pro pilot forum is ProPilotWorld.com. But you wouldn’t be able to participate, since it is limited to people who can prove they have a commercial license or ATP.

  67. “You should look for videos of B-52s doing it right. Cross wind crab control rules!”

    B-52s have castering main landing gear. Airbuses (or commercial Boeings) don’t.

  68. Get over it . The pilot could have been female with a Male pilot name etc . Multicultural I guess. The pilot could have done a few things different but stuck with the plan as the pilot felt at ease with. Easy to preach when they are not in the seat .It landed with no fatalities. Wot is your problems.

  69. Etihad you have highly skilled pilots
    Rather CONGRATULATE them for flying with absolute precision and skill and land the aircraft in such turbulent weather

  70. I’m just wondering how many negative comments left were by fully qualified multi engined ATPL holders. Or do we have the usual mix of armchair PPL holders who never flown up front for a living?

  71. Unfortunately the timing of your report is pretty bad as they have also realised the angle the video was taken at dramatised a very uneventful landing and apologies were given to the pilots involved by the training department for their premature review of the situation from the online video alone. A little more research before posting might have been appropriate.

  72. It looks to me that the captain and his crew had complete control of the air craft in wind conditions that no one can control, i.e. flight simulation is programed, real world conditions, you had to be there. With that type of wind conditions if the captain would have chosen to abort the landing and gone to throdle up, would that kind of cross wind cause the air craft to roll? As for the decrabbing, it looks to me that the captain knew he could not with that type of cross wind and would run the risk of a wing touch. Realizing the touch down attitude and the possible stress on the gear the crew taxied the air craft off of the hard surface for automatic grounding of the air craft for complete inspection.

  73. While it looks uncomfortable, this is actually a safe landing. It is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) for widebody jets to land in crabs to avoid scraping pods. Above a 35 kt crosswind, there is generally not enough runway width available for the “de-crab” technique and not enough bank angle available to avoid scraping a pod for the “one wing low” technique.

  74. I don’t see a problem at all with either the message nor language. I can totally see they are talking about safety – a go-around instead of landing.

    As usual there is no one single perspective to everything. Although I do applaud the pilots, I can also appreciate the managements concern. Using Gentlemen is a problem? Maybe he or SHE is talking about the two pilots who are men.

  75. There’s a better chance of seeing Jesus riding a unicorn in the sky than seeing a woman flying a 380 for Emirates.

  76. Fortunately the tyres have a cross section that allows a degree of stability when grounded at a severe angle but if this is exceeded they would be ripped of the rims. The pilot doesn’t know when this limit is close. Its just guess work

  77. I have seen tons of cross wind landing videos for past 10 years, it’s nothing new, many are worse than these. idk why internet is suddenly losing its mind over this, perhaps they dont know this approach even exists.

  78. I thought it was an okay landing. (I was wondering if the pilot flying was a former B-52 driver. They’re used to articulating trucks!)

  79. @RCinSG——You REALLY need to get your priorities straight….this was a terrible crosswind landing and the only thing you care about in your comments is the fact that the 6% of airline pilots who are female may have been slighted by the salutation in the memo. YOU are the problem! This was a terrible crosswind landing worthy of a grade 1. Not only was little or no downwind rudder applied in the flare to align the A380 with the runway centerline track, at 0:15 in the video, UPWIND rudder was actually applied, making the crab worse. I can only imagine how bad the ride was in the very back of the jet as touchdown occured and the nose and tail swung to centerline.

  80. just a breeze – think that was hairy – google and watch some of the landings at here at WLG, NZ. …. such crab landings are common place… albeit not with such an aircraft type.
    In any case – watch it again, and this time watch the rudder – looks to me the PIC knew exactly what he was doing and had good knowledge of his aircraft’s capabilities.

  81. Col B Guano is most appropriate, as a ‘handle’. How many PIC Hours do you have on A380, B747, Britten-Norman Islander? ATPL, ATPL(H) Left seat or Right seat as appropriate? This is notwithstanding some third party reference to ‘political correctness’. Respectful suggestion: Read the other one hundred odd posts, remove those that are NOT related to this A380 Cross-Wind landing and then see the general picture. A long out of print book was titled “Flying the Rotor”, this circumstance would produce a new book titled “Flying the Aircraft”.
    Good Day, Sir.

  82. The Airbus documents will help you with ‘crab’. Google ‘Airbus cross-wind landing procedures’ and you should find a very explanatory 12 page document that even has a picture of the landing gear forces at point of touchdown. Good reading and very real world orientated. Most people on this thread probably read that before ‘posting’, as is most sensible.

  83. A simple question in my view is whether the pilots landed within the safety margins prescribed for the A380 in X-wind conditions. The A380 is an advanced a/c with automated features such as Break to vacate which add margin in marginal conditions. The pilots are rational beings that must have made sensible judgement and an armature video should hardly be the basis for assessing their performance.

  84. Elegant answer Laurence re: ‘crab’. I perchance had a look to find out when the LL Cross-wind runway was taken out of use (05/23). It would appear circa 2002. However, that answer was superbly finished by the statement: “If you want 05/23, go to Stansted”. ‘Never thought of that!

  85. For those complaining about the “gentlemen” verbiage, do you know who this memo was addressed to? If their training department is currently all-male, why would it matter? It seems clear it wasn’t addressed to all flight crewmembers. Molehills, people…

  86. How can any of us even comment on whether or not the Pilot should have made a go-around or not? It looked like a completely normally executed crosswind landing to me? There are way too many details left out of this article, as well the video, to make any assessment to the Pilot’s aeronautical decision making. Furthermore, he do not believe he veered off into the grass….I believe he was merely exiting the runway at a taxiway somewhere mid tarmac. Have you looked at the size of Heathrow’s runways lately. They are massive. With regards to the video itself….the video was shot from a relatively odd angle with some sort of zoom. Had the video been shot directly down centerline I do not believe it would have looked as dramatic.

  87. Hang on Roger, this all started because the Airline Training internal memo was ‘leaked’. A management instant opinion was ‘broadcast’ and the key statement was: “WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS”…….I believe there have been some very sensible observations on this thread and a lot has been learnt from a real world point of view, by all of us.

    Thank you.

  88. Really, really? You watch that and the best you can do is a confab on trivial esoterica regarding “gentlemen”.

  89. More luck than any level of skill!!!
    If they had of had any sort of crosswind landing technique taught in their career, it all seems to be different these days and the technique to decrab prior to touchdown reduces immensely the side loads of the landing gear. Also the fact that the runway appeared to be wet or damp would have reduced the side loads the main gear was subjected to

  90. Well, at the end of the day, it makes a change from fume filled cockpits, PAX with burst eardrums, and disintegrating engine cowlings, notwithstanding questionable aerodynamics and software on brand new aircraft.

    Safe flying.

  91. @Yawpedal….Sir or Madam, I see you left a rather huffy comment re: my comment on this less than ideal crosswind landing. For the record, I DO have an ATP, with several Boeing type ratings (including B747 and B747-4) and one Airbus type rating, but not A380, and I’m sure I have many thousands of hours more transport flight time than do you. Before you assign reading to other people, you’d best be sure to whom you’re speaking. Back to the original point, just because the PF (pilot flying) on this leg can land better than you, it doesn’t make this a good landing. The PF obviously wasn’t sure what to do with the rudder. If it was the co-pilot, the Captain should have taken control. If it was the Captain, they should have diverted to a different runway with less crosswind component. Good day to you, sir or madam.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *