Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday's Fantastic Flying Footage

Today's footage comes courtesy of one of our three faithful readers. Gunny pointed this out in a comment thread below and I thought it was so outstanding that it must serve as this week's video. What you will see occurred only a few days ago. This is a Lufthansa flight in Germany landing in an extreme crosswind. The pilot appears to do everything correctly (although the decision to make a landing attempt on this runway in these conditions might be questioned). Reports that I've tracked down on this say that the gust responsible was in excess of 100 mph. They also say the co-pilot was at the stick...a 24 year old female. Now all joking aside, the recovery here is fantastic and the decision to go around impeccable. The long and the short of it is that the left wing tip does strike the runway. It's damaged and has to be replaced. The plane did a go-round and was put safely down on another runway by the captain. The "smoke" you see after the wing strike is the water on the runway and the grass being atomized by the engines being immediately pushed into full forward for maximum power. The perspective for this video is perfect and gives an outstanding view of what is otherwise a solid crosswind landing. Enjoy!

(HT: Gunny/Semper Reformanda)


M. Jay Bennett said...

That made my stomach churn!

Matthew Bradley said...

Didn't it! Can't imagine being a passenger on that flight. Especially one sitting over the left wing.

Hal W. said...

I wonder how many people on board that airplane realized how close they came to dying. Look at the movement of the fuselage... that was nothing but pure luck that kept it from tumbling... I'd be interested in the mishap investigation results. Always easy to armchair quarterback, but they should have diverted with croswinds like that, and I'm surprised they even had the runway open... nice video though!

Matthew Bradley said...

Hey Hal!!!

I wondered the exact same thing about the passengers. I suppose they were no more than tenths of a second from a completely different outcome. I'm not positive, but I think I detect an immediate rudder input that makes all the difference. Just as soon as the plane banks left and the wing tip strikes, the aft of the A/C swings to the left (as we are looking at it). This has all the earmarks of a rudder input to counteract the left roll. That is so counter-intuitive for anyone that isn't a pilot (and that kind of proper reaction is impressive even in a pilot). It points to sound training.

But I'm with you...what in the world were they thinking even trying in the first place?!

Great to hear from you!