Crosswind landings – and take-offs – can be a major challenge for pilots and occur when the wind is across the runway not head on.
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.
This video is shot at Birmingham Airport.
Located 5.5 miles from Birmingham city center, it’s not uncommon to see pilots perform several landing attempts into the airport.
Known to have problems with strong crosswinds, especially during winter, on some occasions pilots have been forced to land elsewhere.