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Video: Emirates A380 Braves Gale-Force Winds to Land in Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH — Christchurch Airport witnessed the defiance of the world's largest passenger plane, the Emirates A380, against the wrath of gale-force winds, making a daring attempt to land amidst meteorological mayhem on Monday. ( More...

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rooboy40 13
Was Airside beside Runway 02 when they came in. We are commissioning a new 3DPSR and MSSR and I am running the maintenance training for it. So we got a ringside seat to the approach. It was howling that day. Gale force NW 90degrees across the runway. Everything smaller than the A380 was on Runway 29. It was a hard hit, but well done in the conditions.
M.F. LaBoo 10
The article almost gave me a seizure though. Musta wore out their thesaurus. "Vehement wind direction" OMG.
21voyageur 9
Great airmanship. Despite her size and as such susceptibility to the effect of wind, somehow the critical mass of the 380 should help "punch" through the wind to a degree; but mother nature is still the boss!
There always seems to be a particularly gnarly moment right before wheels down, like a last minute roll, in these windy landings. Not sure if it’s ground effect ceasing or what. Also, the A380 is a creepy looking plane from the front. Klingon vibes or something.
Ken Lane 6
I see all these comments and wonder. So, I looked at the video again...

That was pretty dang stable. He was crabbed as he would be in any crosswind more than a few knots. The trucks sat down and kept him stable then he was able to swing to line up with the runway.

It seems to me most here have never flown so much as a paper airplane, let alone a real airplane to experience crosswinds and much less so a very heavy airliner, upwards of a million pounds.
Bandrunner 4
I'm utterly sure some more hyperbole could have been squeezed into that report to attract attention.
After all, "Plane Lands In Strong Cross-Winds" is Hardly Man Bites Dog.
rob strong 3
Nice landing.
James Simms 3
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing
Arm Chair pilots! Wonderful comments. Now U try it. Great flying, by a PILOT that knows his stuff.
Great skills , made it easy!
Carl Slater 3
No big deal planes land In crosswinds every day
Mary Harper 1
Good thanks for that I feel better now!
Winds? What wind pffftttt. Great job with that.
Nan Crussell 1
Fantastic landing by that pilot!!!
Ron Wroblewski 1
That looked tame af. Lol
Ken Riehl 1
I’m not saying it’s easy by any stretch of the imagination. But, when the wind is blowing at a fairly constant state and not gusting, and there’s not a great deal of low level windshear, it makes it a great deal easier. Once again I’m not saying that it’s a piece of cake to land in a heavy cross wind
like that.
Ivan Blakely 1
hilarious text... chatGPT?
Mary Harper 1
Why was the plane allowed to land in such difficult conditions? That puts a plane load of passengers into danger doesn’t it? It’s a question not a statement but aren’t they taking an unacceptable risk and subjecting passengers to a potentially dangerous situation?
Not a pilot but I’d imagine there’s a threshold and they were under it. Can always go around…
Peter Fuller 3
During flight testing for certification, the A380 was successfully landed in crosswinds above 40 knots. Could she land in even higher crosswinds? Maybe, but you can only test in what you encounter. The highest demonstrated crosswind might be the limit allowed in Emirates’ operational rules for landing the A380.
Many flights throughout New Zealand were either cancelled or diverted that day. My son was on a SYD-CHC flight that tried to get into an alternative (ZQN) but were unsuccessful again due to wind, thereafter diverting to Auckland (AKL) where they spent over 24 hours before flying down to CHC. Don't complain about the time frame as Air New Zealand had by the time they had reached the terminal, rebooked them on the first available flight. Some of the passengers didn't make it down until the Wednesday. If you think the above was nothing, look for 14 October 23 landing of the Emerites A380 at CHC. The winds came back to bite us even worse. Unless you have lived here, you don't realize the extent the winds can cause havoc on aircraft.
Jim Allen -4
Agreed. There was a line in Top Gun about something like that. I guess flying a load of rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong isn’t that far from Christchurch.
Keith Brown 1
Well that's a minute of my life I'll never get back.
Excellent airpersonship...
HeissZephyr 4
"Pilotage" is a word. Excellent pilotage.

No need to make-up words to show us how pc you are...
Oh heck trust me: I am.not! The only thing PC in me runs Microsoft in the offices.

Ok, then: following my instincts, nice airmanship.

Brian Freeman -1
And just imagine how the pilot would have been castigated had this gone bad. Poor decision?? You decide.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

jewel welch 21
Spoken like a true small plane driver. The slip technique works in smaller planes because the wings and engines aren't in danger of hitting the ground. What you saw here was textbook crab all the way down and a safe controlled landing. Kudos to getting the people to their destination safely.
That's not correct. You can still slip a big airplane within certain limitations to avoid hitting the engine pods. We have a 14 deg bank limit on the 787. Everything I watch Emirates, Qatar, Singapore airlines do these "amazing " landings there is never a attempt to drcrab. That's a testament to the A380 landing gear.
jetjocknj 3
I suppose you can call F-4s, F-106s, T-33s, and T-39s "small planes," if you want to. But the cross-controlled landing technique also worked well for me flying 727s, 737s, and DC10s. The technique can be called a universal and very efficacious procedure, and it is especially useful in preventing passenger shock and fright from being thrown violently side to side, in succession, at touchdown, as evident in this A380 case. Touching down straight ahead, aligned with the runway, is also much easier on the main gear trucks and struts in terms of failng to introduce any stress-induced metal fatigue.
jewel welch 9
Compared to A380, yeah, small planes. May work for a lot of planes but it is not universal if the AFM calls for a different technique. A low-slung engine scraping the runway is exactly what expensive sounds like. By the way, Airbus recommends the crab-only technique. In any case, the maximum bank angle is 5 degrees on landing.
James Simms 3
Just ask Alaska Airlines when their 737 pronged pretty good landing @ SNA…..
Funny, never saw that restriction on the bus. Over 5K hours in it, never had a problem with crosswinds. Below 50ft. It goes into direct law so you can slip no problem.
jetjocknj 0
You must be careful with 4 engines, and the AFM is to be followed. With fewer engines, generally not a problem. Still, this 380 had zero wing into the wind when an option existe for up to 5 degrees. Therefore, wtill not impressed; neither were the pax (on touchdown), I am sure.
Ken Lane 1
I'm thinking you lack knowledge of the A380 systems and particularly how the main trucks operate.
C J 1
ooooof...this is a cringe worthy embarrassing comment.
James Simms 1
There are old pilots, & bold pilots; but no old, bold pilots…..
Disagree : seems the pilots chose to land in a "crabbing" stance, i.e directed against the wind and leaving this one repositionnig them in the right direction.This was what Boeing recommended to the B747-400 crews.
Bayouflier -4
Agreed. I was a sloppy landing, and he/she gave up flying as soon as the first wheel touched the ground, which explains the alarming swerve on the runway. Yes, he got it down safely, but it wasn't pretty.


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