How Planes Land Sideways In High Winds
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How Planes Land Sideways In High Winds


Narrator: It’s not always a smooth and pleasant landing for airplanes. Intense strong winds
can affect the position of how planes land on the runway, making it look like the plane is literally landing sideways. Here’s how planes land
sideways in high winds. Landings like this actually
have a name, crabbing. The name comes from the
way crabs walk sideways across the beach. That’s kind of what
the airplane looks like when it’s landing this way. Crabbing is usually needed
because of high crosswinds. Les: The wind can either be blowing straight down the runway or 90 degrees to the runway
or somewhere in between. And usually it’s somewhere
in between there. Narrator: That’s Les Westbrooks. He teaches aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and is a retired airline pilot. – Landing in a crosswind situation requires a couple of different maneuvers. When we’re at altitude, the
aircraft just flies in a crab, and we just go across, kinda sideways. Once we get down to the
ground, we can’t land with the aircraft in a crab, because that’s gonna put a lot of stress on the outside of the landing gear, and could actually cause
the landing gear to collapse if we put too much stress on it. Narrator: Whenever there is a crosswind, there’s a lot of turbulence, so it’s not like the pilots are flying through a slight summer breeze. Of course the ultimate goal is for the aircraft to land straight, where the nose of the
plane is in alignment with the stripe that’s down the runway. Those crosswinds sure make it challenging! – There is an angle to that. You know, as a forced
vector, so the direction and the intensity that it’s
coming at will determine how much input we have to put into the aircraft’s flight controls. Narrator: As the plane comes in, the pilots are actively controlling it, so that it’s in the
perfect landing position. But, when a gust of wind
comes at the wrong time, it will cause the pilot to execute a go-around instead of landing. If the crosswinds are severe enough, around 45 miles per hour or so, the pilot does not have enough control to straighten the airplane out and land. If this happens, the pilot
will abandon the approach and divert the plane to another airport. These strong winds can prevent the planes from taking off at an airport. That’s sometimes where
those flight delays come in, and we all love those! So, exactly how do the aircrafts
land in these conditions? Les: So, at the last minute, we want to move the nose of the aircraft parallel with the runway,
but soon as we do that, the aircraft’s gonna start blowing off to the side of the runway with the wind. So in order to counteract that, we’d lower the wing, the upwind wing, we lower the wing, and
straighten the nose out, and a perfect crosswind landing will be when the upwind
wheel touches down first, the aircraft is straight down the runway, and then the second wheel
will come down after that. Narrator: Finally, the
plane is on the runway and heading to the terminal. – Some of your best
landings are actually made when it is in challenging conditions, ’cause you are on your A-game
when you’re doing this. All right, and you’re completely engaged, and actively controlling the airplane so, actually some of our
best landings are made when we are in these
crosswind landing situations. Narrator: So, if you’re ever on a plane that feels like it’s landing sideways, feel safe knowing the
pilots have the situation totally under control.

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100 thoughts on “How Planes Land Sideways In High Winds

  1. Aircraft should have airbags on the bottom to land on in these harsh conditions – like a Slip & Slide…..wheeeeeeeeee

  2. Yesterday in Montréal, we had 95 kmph winds, and it lasted 2 days until it calmed down. I wonder what happened to all those airplanes I saw 🤔

  3. Circa 2006, I was a passenger on a plane that landed in Florida, and the winds were so severe that the plane had to abort landing and make another approach, and the landing was very rough.

  4. Oh for God's sake IT'S AIRCRAFT!!! NOT AIRCRAFTS. There is NO SUCH WORD as 'AIRCRAFTS' PEOPLE. One aircraft many aircraft.

  5. This tilt shift photography, or whatever is giving us this look, makes it look liked these planes are all just floating or doing a vertical takeoff. Very cool to witness.

  6. this entire video format and narrating seems to be for toddlers… always a good laugh to see a media source try to do anything on aviation.

  7. The best landings are with a headwind so strong you start to move backwards relative to the ground. Maybe try landing on a helipad that way 😂

  8. Crabbing looks less scary when you're in the cockpit… especially when you're at the yoke and feeling the plane slewing in your butt… you have to learn how to do it… otherwise it's impossible to land… crabbing… then do a wing low approach before touch… that said… crosswinds are a complete pain… but your ATP pilots have done them so many times… they're not usually all that concerned… I've never had to do crabbing for real… because I've never flown a plane (beyond the sim) big enough… most light planes… low wing approaches are sufficient to counteract the crosswind… that said… definitely more "exciting" than just a calm straight approach. 🙂 LOL! You most certainly don't forget that first time you touch down in a crosswind. 😀

  9. hey tech insider… ever think a doin even a little tiny bit of research on the subject? because its obvious you arent an aviation insider and your tech was pointless stupid and for the most part just wrong…. thanks for wasting everyones time

  10. I feel like EGBB Birmingham Airport should also be credited in the video, as most of the clips used took place there 😂 nice to see the local airport for something!

  11. the airlines land in a crab- tires are stressed for it and it's cheaper than dragging a wingtip- now in general aviation training- allow the aircraft to naturally crab into the wind- Then incorporate your opposite rudder and aileron to cancel out the crab- if you are a student and you run out of rudder to cancel out crab duing landing flare, your crosswind component is being exceeded and you are a test pilot.

  12. I don't know why so many people are so afraid of flying, I've been flying since 2 weeks old and I've never been scared.

  13. Would it be possible for rotating landing gear that will automaticaly rotate to the direction of straight down the runway? The fuselage can point any direction but the wheels will auto stay in the same direction?

  14. it's call crabbing…..looks strange but you can still land with no problems, just takes a bit more concentration. It can even happen in the sky.

  15. Yooo really now they teach you I only imagine how many plp have shit thier pants.🤤Hate flying did it once into a storm alone I was 11 went to see Family North of me never again! GREEEEEEEEYHOUND!

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