This video captures the amazing pilot skills of a Boeing 757 crew battling high winds at Funchal’s Madeira Airport.
Crosswind landings can be a major challenge for pilots and occur when the wind is across the runway, not head-on.
This airport is located right on the ocean and is incredibly exposed and from one end the pilots are required to do a curved approach as well.
— Just Planes (@justplanes) August 24, 2019
Typically aircraft land and take-off into the wind to decrease the landing or take-off distance.
In some cases aircraft land with a slight downwind component – typically associated with noise-sensitive airports where one runway is preferred over another.
Where a pilot faces a crosswind landing they need to point the aircraft in the direction of the wind while maintaining a straight course toward the runway.
This is called crabbing or yawing.
In strong crosswinds, the pilot may also dip the wing – sideslip – into the direction of the wind.
Just before touchdown pilots apply rudder to bring the plane – and its undercarriage – back so it is aligned straight down the centre line of the runway.
This takes great skill and the results – if not done properly – are often quite spectacular as shown in this video.