Crosswind landings – and take-offs – are a major challenge for flight crews and occur when the wind is across the runway not head on.
This video was shot at Birmingham Airport during a recent winter storm.
It is a testament to the rugged construction of today’s aircraft but we are not sure about the passenger’s stomachs!
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 down-wind 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 touch down pilots apply rudder to bring the plane – and its undercarriage – back so it is aligned straight down the centerline of the runway.
This takes great skill and the results –if not done properly – are often quite spectacular as shown in the video.