04 August 2009

That's a tooth-rattler


FWIW, I'm not sure I agree with the commentators that this is a "bad" landing.  It's an A380 -- the biggest passenger jet ever -- in heavy crosswinds with only 5500 feet of runway in front of it. They had to put it down quickly and, if need be, firmly.  Had they floated to a smooth touchdown, they might not have been able to stop before the end of the runway.  (That's bad)

Still, the video of the wing flex is remarkable.  How strong are these wings?  Check out this video of the 777's ultimate wing load test.  Badass stuff.


  1. It's a crosswind landing. With wind blowing from starboard side, step on rudder in order to compensate the crosswind and stay aligned to the runway.

  2. So what's the P.I.O. these guys mention (twice)?

  3. Pilot-induced oscillation (PIO)

    In other words, "overcompensation."

    It's annoying how the two commentators try to put the landing in bad light; it's sensationalism that they wish to generate, i suppose. I agree with SHADOWFAX; it's a crosswind landing done well within the aircraft's design limits.

    The A380 in question is a test aircraft, by the way, the same as this A380 conducting a VMU testing (velocity, minimum, unstick).


  4. Healthcare Observer8/06/2009 3:06 AM

    I read also that they had to stop it for a turn-off before the end of the runway because they couldn't turn it round past that point.

  5. We used to live in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, home of the notorious Aeropuerto Toncontín. Essentially, the pilot has to thread his aircraft through a series of steep mountains while also descending, then approach the runway in the opposite direction--but not go too far, or he'll hit one of said mountains--then execute a sharp U-turn coupled with a stomach-churningly acute descent onto the tiny runway, and finally, slam on the retros immediately lest the airplane smack into the side of yet another mountain waiting at the end.

    You can see a YouTube video of this insane maneuver here.

  6. Healthcare Observer8/07/2009 3:11 AM

    I use City Airport in London (England) frequently - it's a short runway built on an old dockside. The only planes that can use it are the AVRO/Bae jets and turboprops (and recently the Airbus A318) and there have been quite a few hardlanding incidents because of the steep descent needed- see pics on this one:





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