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Emirates A380 Jet Nearly Loses Directional Control In Windy Landing

A380 Pilot way overcontrols the rudder after rough crosswind landing. ( More...

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Looks to me the aircraft went light on the first touch which meant the normal corrective action was overly exaggerated, thus requiring the numerous corrective actions to straighten the alignment.
Testament to the undercarriage strength, the tyres must have taken a massive amount of lateral force.
SmokedChops 6
Is it my imagination, or does that whale look quite angry by the time it reached the end?
Dan Chiasson 1
Oh she is pissed and will have the stretch-marks to prove it!
Rob Harrison 4
Holy Guacamole! Good for Captain Ahab! But I agree his rudder technique may not have been optimum. As a DER who has done repairs on Airbus landing gear, I would hope for a THOROUGH inspection of not only the gear, but the entire airframe. Am I the only one that noticed the Mambo the horiz was doing at the end of the rollout?
ToddBaldwin3 3
My first reaction to seeing that was "Mama Mia" Apologies to the Italians for that. That must have been one hell of a ride back in the tail.
Ray Robinson 3
As a former Flight Attendant, I can assure you there was a lot of screaming in terror going on down the back. Been in a similar situation a few times myself.
Mark Thomas 9
Kudos to the pilots! No engine strikes or anything like that! The pax in the back must have thought the end was nigh!!
jcinnb 4
Looked up Crosswind landing on YOUTUBE. First video was Emirates 777. Not too good!!! Is there a systemic training issue for this airline?
sharon bias 2
Wonder if anyone inside the plane recorded the landing? People would have likely had their phones ready for arrival, so to switch to video mode would be logical.
bettiem 2
Eeek! One puckers tightly just watching. Does that landing further the cause for development of more human-replacement automation?
Guy Cocoa 2
Given the lineage of the A380 (A300 in particular), they were lucky the the vertical stabilizer didn't snap off as a result of the over control of the rudder (AA587 comes to mind).
john Gargiulo 2
Pilot should have done a go around!
dodger4 0
Why? They would have made a decision that the wind was within the "demonstrated crosswind component" prior to landing. Also the worst time to go around is right after you touch down in a low-energy condition.

And what would be the point? They come around and repeat the previous performance? They have to get it right the first time - at the rate they are being paid....
djames225 1
They obviously didm't make the correct decision..look at the whole video prior to this part of the clip....and they dont always get it right the first time, that's why there are go arounds..I agree that the go around, if initiated, should be done long before wheels down.
I think you meant "touch down", not wheels down which is typically done a few miles before landing.
djames225 2
No I meant wheels down...gear down before landing, wheels up is taking off, wheels down is landing, touchdown is a straight shot at a target or a footnbll when Falcon 9 First stage lands on target at Cape/Vandenberg or on "Just Read The Instructions" or "Of Course Still Love You", that's a touchdown.
Lee Withers 3
NBC news showed the approach at a very fast speed and the plane was like a fish flopping around out of water. Don,t know if was an error, act of stupidity, or just another shot at making the news sensational.
djames225 1
If you watch Cargospotter's video on Youtube, I believe that is what NBC was coming in hot to compensate for wind..flopping like a fish?..she was bouncing around a lot and watch the outboard area of the right wing..I would have done a go around and tried again or done an avert to Cologne/Bonn..sometimes wind gusts just aren't worth the risk.
Lee Withers 0
The second part of the Cargospotter shown here on Flight Aware is the same video with the approach being shown on NBC. The approach was shown many times faster than reality. They did show the landing at normal speed. It would have been terrifying if they actually had gone through that.
djames225 1
The first and second part of Cargo's video didnt speed up approach and I now see what you meant about the fish..I did go through the third part and I believe that was an error/bad editing judgement right towards the end with the rapid landing...watching how they were bouncing around that bad, as I stated, should have done a go around....If this was a second attempt, don't gamble on pax lives and do a weather advert..obviously the winds didn't decrease in intensity.
dodger4 2
What we see here is a lack of basic flying skills, regardless of the size of the plane, combined with a demonstration of just how effective the air rudder is - even at low speeds. Regrettably this is common among pilots who drive these planes with a high level of automation.

Secondly, the whole landing looks unstable without a clear concept of how the wind is affecting the aircraft on short final. When you reach this point, all you have to do is straighten it out SMOOTHLY with the rudder. There is a risk with the big jets that you can catch a wingtip or an engine cowl in a wing-down landing; that's why they land level and kick straight.

Back to school, guys (gals).
akrodriguez 1
I spoke with a friend who has extensive experience flying comparably sized aircraft. He echoed your statement. This was a complete muck up on the part of the pilot flying. The two items he mentioned were the failure to decrab and a poor flare. Then they made it worse by over steering as evidenced in the wild rudder swings. My friend further proclaimed gear problems are in this plane’s future.
Matha Goram 0
You are spot on with your observation (I am not a pilot but I have seen many A380 pre-certification crabbed landing videos). The conditions may not be comparable with the previous videos but I wish that further details will trickle down so that we can simulate these conditions to train the future pilots at Emirates.
Agreed. Absolutely.
Victor Engel 1
How much of a delay is there between when the pilot makes a rudder command and the plane acts on it? Moving a runner that size takes some time, but how much? How much computer control is typically used during a landing like this?
AWAAlum 1
There's mostly critical comments aimed at the flight crew. I'm wondering whatever happened to the "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing."
Lee Withers 1
That’s a yah but. Company’s really aren’t big on spending thousands and thousands to fix those little “oopes” nor do they like all the negative PR when millions see it on TV. No matter how you look at it there were big judgement and or piloting errors. I’m pretty sure the crew got a “warm” welcome on return to headquarters.
AWAAlum 1
Agreed, but my comment was pertaining to the criticism of the flight crew's handling of the event. Personally, I can't help but believe they were thanked effusively by all the departing pax. The corporate side of the event is an entirely different issue...IMHO.
I don't know if it would be true the pax would thank the crew, if they did it would because they didn't know how bad they screwed up and how close they were to an accident. They are after all trusting the crew's experience, judgement and skill and are not expert commentators.
Except for a love of flight, I'll raise my hand as the least knowledgeable of anyone on this board, from a technical perspective, but I have to imagine that it's the enormous surface area of this monster that gives the wind so very much to work with, that causes this drama. Have to imagine that a smaller machine, with the wind grabbing on to less, has an easier go of it. I mean, what are we talking about there, five stories of surface area? And, yes, as said elsewhere, kudos to the crew for the skillful wrestle.
That kick from crabbed to nose-straight, wingtip down into wind has always been a challenge for me. Although when you get it perfect and grease it in on the upwind main gear, then gently transition back to wings level, nose gear on the centerline, there's no better feeling!
Eric Rindal 1
I am still pondering the role, (if any), that the "fly by wire" control logic may have played in this landing?

Watching the rudder surfaces deflection during approach, only the bottom half was making full deflections. If you watch the upper half right at the moment of first wheel contact with the runway, and at the moment the right landing gear compresses, the upper half makes its first full deflection, significantly increasing yaw.

The question in my mind is was this purely the result of increased pilot input or did the control logic law make an adjustment in control surface output based on its sensing runway contact?

I don't know the exact number of sensors that make up the control logic response algorithm, speed, angle of attack, thrust, landing gear squat switches(?), but I do know as configuration changes are sensed, control deflection limits change. This control law algorithm acts as a filter to the pilot commanded control inputs and might add or subtract actual surface deflections given a specific stick and rudder pedal deflection but measured against differing configurations.

Did the control law encounter an edge condition that instead of protecting against, ended up amplifying?
joel wiley 2
Check the CVR for "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that"
bentwing60 0
I suspect the squat switch function was the reason for full rudder authority and it looked like a good thing.
Douglas Kehoe 1
Whatever that was I just witnessed I can tell you that ROBUST! It looked like one of my landings in my 172 trainer...which takes a beating (just like that)
Ken Kang 1
masao suzuki 1
.A good reference was on FedfEx accident in Narita、On March 23, 2009, they were in the similar gusty wind condition on approach runway 34L.
j boles 1
Would've been a bit frightening for the passengers, extremely poor technique of the pilot caused that. Unfortunately the way new pilots are trained and their over reliance on technology we will see more problems and more accidents in the future.
mariofer 1
Would hate to be a passenger sitting at the tail end. Heck, after watching that I need Dramamine.
Joe Birts 1
I'm sure cabin clean-up was fun. Been through some rough landings but nothing like that!
Andy Mason 1
Jesus Mary and Joseph, they probably had to replace a few pax seats as well as the pilots'.
Who is flling that critter? Auto pilot or human?
joel wiley 1
Oh, thought you meant 'flinging'
djames225 1
That too joel
Ivan Blakely 1
same aircraft as this
Nov 2016 landing with left wing gear retracted.
Look at him fanning that rudder. Wow!
As a pilot of smaller planes, typical crosswind approaches is crabbing on short final. Then slip to touch down the runway. The slip will normally have one of the main wheels touch the runway first to counteract the crabbing inertia. By crabbing, is the noise of airplane pointing towards the wind, but over the runway, don't want to touchdown sideways.

Now sure, but I think the B-52 was designed to land at a crabbing posture...

Anyway, looks like an over correction when the pilot "tried" to slip the touchdown, was painful to watch. But, look at crosswind landings on youtube, I see many airliners touchdown while crabbing!
bartmiller 1
It's the C5A that lands crabbed based on castering gear.
weimandn 3
Don't you mean 'The C5A also lands crabbed ...'. The wording of your answer kind of implies that the B-52 cannot do this when in fact it can.
bentwing60 0
And,as George points out, was designed to do so.
Jd Young 1
Fast and Furious 8. A380 Drift!
Eric Rindal 1
The A380 has a computer between pilot and all control surfaces. It appeared to me that the rudder went from single panel deflection to dual panel deflection coinciding with wheel touchdown which greatly increased deflection force. While i have no insight into the changes in control logic this might cause, I would be interested in hearing from someone who does. i.e did the control rules change on the pilots at an inopportune moment or did the pilot directly command that change though a change in control force input?
taterhed1 1
OMG, that's brutal.

Guess that bus is built stronger than it looks. wow.
MimiKoberlein 1
OMHeck! I didn't know the big ones could get that squirelly! Yikes.
Bryan Jensen 1
The fundamental laws of aerodynamics are immutable.
Could someone explain what error the pilot made? I found the three cross wind landing types. To this n00b it appears to be a crab landing with a possible de-crab intention. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The rudder is used to align the plane with the runway but even after watching several youtube clips I'm unable to spot the error. Genuine question, engineer level but I'm not a pilot.
First was lack of an adequate flare, likely also poor airspeed control. Touchdown is typically meant to be at Vref for the selected flaps plus 5 or plus the gust factor of that is more up to either 15 or 20 depending on aircraft. The resulting hard landing in a crab in this case is difficult to control as the aircraft adjusts its body to the actual direction of travel. Notice the gross over controlling on roll out. Judging by the overall poor technique I assume after touchdown the upwind wing was not commanded progressively down which aids in directional stability. See my post above regarding other DUS landings on utube.
bentwing60 1
In a "heavy" transport category airplane their is no real adequate "flare" on a gusty Xwind day, especially if "some" of those gusts exceed the max. demonstrated capability of the "pilot", let alone the demonstrated Xwind capability of The airplane. Bet he still has a job. A prolonged flare puts you in the weeds or just as crooked 2000 feet down the runway. In his scenario, you arrest the descent to as little as possible as late as possible and wrestle the controls so as not to crunch an outboard engine and accept the Crunch. The timing is the "thing" At some point the rudder might have been providing some thrust,IDK. But I bet he has more logbooks than you and it didn't wind up like some of those FedEx DC10/MD11's did in similar conditions. On their backs, burning. Must be a tough aircraft to land in a Xwind. Can you do it?
Rick Hunt 1
Under the circumstances this might be the best possible outcome....

Having said that the pilot had two choices and split the difference and that made the situation worse. The choices were 1) land the aircraft in the crab. Since the center of gravity is forward of the landing gear the forward momentum would have straightened the aircraft out with no control inputs from the pilot. There would have been some nose movements back and forth but far less than what was experienced (if one watches the vast number of crosswind landings in large aircraft this is what is generally done) -or- 2) transition to a slight slip. The pilot straighten the nose but did not simultaneously lower the right wing. Lowering it 5-10 degrees and allowing touchdown on the right gear followed by the left gear would have made the transition smoother.

A perfectly executed crab approach / transition to a slip upon flare crosswind landing is a thing of beauty. Tried to locate a video but this was the best I could find.

And for those "experienced" pilots who are generally trained to land in the crab in crosswind conditions and say this just can't be done with a large aircraft I beg you to go back and get some training.....

ATP/CFI/CFI-AI/CFI-MEI/6,00+ hours +numerous type ratings.....
Andre Vanha 2
I also tried looking for videos that might show a crab to slip crosswind landing, but I can't find anything. Plenty of examples of good crab landings, but not a lot of slipping.

More from Cargospotter @ Düsseldorf: A380 at @3:18

I would have expected manufacturer crosswind testing to show it off, but they're crab landings too.


The manufacturer videos show certification requirements, so it's what can be done in a worse case scenario not necessarily what should be done. The crab into flare and correct to centerline then touchdown technique is indeed a thing of beauty but requires the flare and good control ... which you may notice didn't really happen on this landing. Some might call that a "link in the chain"... I did see a set of videos on utube taken at DUS with a number of landings in similar conditions some of which demonstrated the technique I mention above quite nicely.
djames225 2
You forgot the third choice...execute a go around and try again...and that goes for any craft large or small.
If he had tried a transitional slip, chances are the sheer weight and force would have crippled the right gear and flopped it on the deck.
Rick Hunt 0
I agree a go around is always a good option - while one is in the air. Once on the ground and the wobbling starts the best choice is to ride it out. Sorry, but you are very wrong about the gear. It can stand extreme vertical forces without damage for exactly this reason. The gear is design to detach with extreme shear forces (Asiana 214) but vertically one would be shocked at the strength. I challenge anyone to show me one accident photo where the gear has popped through the wing....
djames225 2
Im not saying popping through a wing, Im sayimg either a slight bending or twisting or even tire blowout. Remember the gear has to withstand horizontal as well as vertical stress and is comprised of more than just the strut assemblies (I dont know what the strength rating is on a wing and 1 inboard strut) but also the tires, hydraulics and braking units. Plus with a 5-10 degree wing arch, that is placing that inboard engine very close to the ground.
744pnf 1
"....and the LEFT main gear was pushed up through the wing." BA77 crash @ LHR.
djames225 1
Nice find
bentwing60 1
I am unable to produce a photo unfortunately but I have personal knowledge of a Lear 25 that managed to poke the left main through the top of the wing in a "hard landing" incident several decades ago. N98RS, s.n. 148. Wing was replaced, along with some incidentals, (like the gear) and she flew until I guess the last entry here, , in 2015. At least 30 or so entries in one of my logbooks. I know, CFR Part 23 cert. originally, but Part 25 later and transport category, turbojet. And not the most forgiving flying machine ever to be certified. Otherwise, in complete agreement on a go around being a good option. Unfortunately, very gusty X-wind conditions mean that option may be off the table if the biggest gust comes in the flare. Especially in an 850,000 lb. left seat. Might be a good thing there wasn't always a camera around to record all of our "arrivals".
ADXbear 0
Worst landing decision I've seem by a large wide body crew. It was unstabilized, obviously that should have diverted to alternate airport. That airframe needs serious inspections..
Thank you for using the correct verb "divert" rather than the misused "avert" and (horrors!) "advert."
Ken Wood 0
Never flown a tailwheel has he?
dodger4 0
Agreed! Nor on floats.
pirahna432 -1
Yeah, the fact that the guy was using massive amounts of rudder to track the centerline at 500' agl tells you all that you need to know. Pretty terrible technique.
Every time I watch this, I get the song "You can Always Go Around" in my head.....
Pathetic, disgusting, and embarrassing to anyone who knows how to fly properly.
Gary Harper 0
The runway appears to be wet, so that lessened the side load on the under carriage.
s2v8377 0
I think this video is slightly exaggerated by the zoom on the camera, but still a pretty crazy crosswinds landing!!! I wonder if this is an example of from a C172 in flight school straight to an A380 special???!!!
Victor Engel 5
Sure there is a foreshortening effect. On the other hand, you can easily see how much the plane translates from side to side. Also look how much the rudder is working. That's not from a foreshortening effect.
s2v8377 -1
Well at least Airbus has made progress. The tail didn't fall off this time.
RECOR10 -3
Fact is, many things from that region of the planet...more often than not...when presented with a poor situation end up with their tail between their legs!!!
Navy65 -1
Third World Airline Pilots: They can memorize the entire flight manual verbatim, but you cannot teach all of them how to fly. Passengers: you get what you pay for.
Bryan Jensen 1
Yes. There is a difference between airplane pilots and airplane drivers. I wrote a 58 page pamphlet/book addressing the subject in hopes of bringing drivers over to the pilots community. If I can figure out how to disseminate it it might make a difference in safety. [email protected]
Jeff Phipps -3
If you're one of those douche bags who refuse to wear your seatbelt, you would be painted all over the interior on that landing!
SmokedChops 2
If not, the contents of their colon most certainly did. The phone call from cabin crew to the gate boss went something like this: "Send MX with a wet vac to rows 31-37, seats A-G. Why? Apparently some clown shite themselves when Capt. Ahab landed Moby Dick in a 60kt crosser"
Ben Edwards 0
Pick up the ATIS. Reject runway assignment if the crosswond compenent exceeds your ability. Land into the wind. Basic flying.
Vin Bart 0
The cushion seat is a weird if he managed to break that.
What are you even trying to say?
I think the joke implied that he soiled the cushion...
Another poorly written article by the media, preceded by a poorly executed landing. Champagne all around!
gerardo godoy 0
I'll never fly with those rookies!!!!
Mic Tay 0
The Airbus has some computer inputs to help the pilot fly. If you remember these it works beautifully, if not (this case) not so much.
Not when the aircraft is in flare law like this case, and not on the rudder anyways. This could have happened the same way in any other aircraft. In my opinion this is an example of pilots not getting enough handflying practice.
jon Belanger 0
What's the big deal? If there is any aircraft built that can't handle a landing like that, it should never have done a takeoff roll in the first place.
Scott Campbell -2
You don't know how many times he went around already, he may have had no choice - You after the fact I wasn't flying evaluators
Ivan Blakely 1
A bit late here ...
Checking the FR24 track
this was first approach
djames225 1
He has a choice..if this was a third go around, he should have done a weather avert to Cologne/Bonn


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