WATCH: A 777 Tries to Land Sideways Before Aborting

Passengers reportedly watched the landing unfold on seat-back monitors

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An Emirates Boeing 777 plane attempting to land at the Birmingham airport in the U.K. on Thursday was tilted sideways as it tried to land during strong wind gusts. The passengers on the plane headed to Dubai watched the drama unfold on television monitors located on the back of their seats, the Mirror reports. The plane attempted to land twice before successfully grounding at Gatwick airport.

8 comments
MichaelKohler
MichaelKohler

That is exactly what you are supposed to do when landing with a huge cross wind.  Any pilot knows this.  You angle the plane to overcome the crosswind so that you continue to fly straight towards the runway, even though the plane may be on an angle in reference to the runway.

Yoshi
Yoshi

What planes, during the sixties, were able to simultaneously pivot their landing gear down the runway so that they could actually land somewhat sideways in strong crosswinds? I remember that the planes were flying into Viet Nam and that the pivoting landing gear was a secret that was kept until almost the end of that war. They were, as I recall, mid-sized passenger liners?

captjoef
captjoef

I often practiced landings in a small Cessna 2-seater but never in such high winds from abeam.  I would crab to keep my track and straighten just before landing.  The same technique is used by boaters when entering breakwaters during a side blow.  The key is knowing your skills and the craft.  And, never attempt such when not 100% sure.  If only 99% sure, you will fail eventually.  That pilot waited too long to power out of the landing.  He put his passengers at risk. 

kjgCalifornia
kjgCalifornia

I fly a similar aircraft, the Boeing 767, this is not an unusual landing procedure. As long as the crosswind component does not exceed company and manufacturer limitations you can shoot the approach. BTW, pilots hand fly approaches almost 99.9% of the time, the auto land system leaves much to be desired. It is typically used only for training, re-certification or approaches with a very low visibility with minimal crosswind component, (10 knots or less, much less than what was observed in this approach). 

Pilots are trained to land with crosswinds, not an unusual approach. The pilot, in this case, was crabbing into the wind to hold his track. However, you cannot land a plane in substantial crab such as was depicted in this video. Proper procedure is to take the crab out at the last moment by dipping your aileron into the wind to eliminate drift and use a cross correction with the rudder to keep the airplane's nose in line with the runway. This last critical maneuver was not executed in this approach. Hence, the proper procedure in this case, (absent the cross control maneuver or lacking proper training in crosswind landings), is to go around and land somewhere else, which is what took place.

patiochef
patiochef

are you kidding why would you try to land a plane at a 45 degree angle with 200 ppl on board. you are an idiot and that pilot needs to be fired


osbitorg
osbitorg

it's called a cross wind landing, nothing scary about it. Pilots practice this all the time. 

terbird
terbird

@osbitorg  This is probably near the outer limit of Boeing's cross wind landing limit for the 777. The crew did the absolute right thing in going around twice before making a safe landing on the third attempt. The 'scary' part is that the crosswind landing concludes with a 'slip' maneuver which requires the left wing tip (in this case) to be lowered dangerously close to the ground to keep from having the airplane blow off the runway from the extreme (left) wind component. The body of the airplane must be totally aligned with the runway to perform this landing safely. The wing tips in these larger aircraft are so far 'out there' from the aircraft body that this can be a very dangerous potential accident if the wing tip contacts the ground. ... Hats off to the Emirates crew for doing a great job in safely landing this aircraft in very difficult ... and 'SCARY' conditions !