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Published on : Tuesday, November 22, 2016
An Emirates A380 was forced to make a sideways landing after being violently rocked by Storm Angus. It was found in a dramatic footage that the gigantic aircraft, the biggest passenger plane of the world, approached the runway sideways at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. A special ‘crab’ landing technique was seen moving sideways into the wind. In ‘crab’ landing, an aircraft is seen drifting laterally while approaching the runway so that it can track the runway centreline and enable a safe landing.
Another video has showed that a smaller passenger plane was trying to land at the same airport however had to abort it at the last minute. It took off again in a fashion what is known as a ‘go around’ procedure.
Steven Draper, a representative of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa), who was also a former pilot, said that the crab landing method in taken up while landing in strong crosswinds or turbulence. It is taken up when it goes beyond the capabilities of the aeroplane’s automatic pilot. He continued that a pilot should be alert and free from fatigue when landing and must have excellent handling skills.
Dai Whittingham, the chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, stated that while crosswinds appear dangerous, they are an everyday occurrence.
High winds in themselves are not dangerous in itself, they can certainly be inconvenient, more so when the wind direction is across the runway.
All pilots train to land in high crosswind conditions and will have practiced to the aircraft limits in the simulator. Any passenger plane comes with a published crosswind limit which is determined by a test pilot during the certification process.