As aviation enthusiasts up-and-down the country made their way to the country’s largest airports to capture some genuinely remarkable take-offs and landings during storm Dennis, one video stood out (scroll down for video).
It was the footage of an Etihad A380 as it was hit by a sudden gust of wind just before it landed causing the aircraft to have to carry out a ‘crab’ landing – where the pilot points the nose of the plane into the wind until just before the wheels touch the ground.
The remarkable landing at Heathrow airport was one of many such arrivals where highly skilled pilots used all of their experience to land in conditions which were within the operating limits of their aircraft.
Although the pilot of the A380 caught in the video received widespread acclaim by the millions of people who watched the video, his/her training department was not that impressed (are training departments ever impressed?).
In a leaked memo published by AirLive.Net, Etihad’s manager of flight crew training for its Boeing fleet said:
“You may have seen a video this week of one of our A380s landing in a strong crosswind in London.
“The official view from the Training Department is a simple one – THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT TO SEE.
“There is a time to give an approach away in the interest of safety.
“If you see such a thing in the sim (aircraft simulator) that would be a grade 1 for both pilots… Please, gentlemen, let’s teach our pilots to operate safely even [when] that means changing the mission.”
While the videos of aircraft landings and take-offs made during windy conditions are quite popular, they have inadvertently meant that pilots now have their every manoeuvre filmed and shared on social media.
Although I am an aviation enthusiast – probably because of my time spent aboard an aircraft carrier when I served in the armed forces – I am by no means a ‘professional commentator’.
But I am reasonably sure that a pilot cannot be held accountable for the wind should the wind decide to gust at +20mph over the forecast wind speed suddenly?
But let us know what you think in the comments below!