Sunday, March 02, 2008

Check out this rather intense video of an Airbus A320 dragging a wingtip while attempting to land.

From :

"This Lufthansa Airbus A320 suffered a wing-tip strike before executing a go-around during an attempt to land at Hamburg International Airport during high winds on 1 March.

Germany is among the countries battered by hurricane "Emma" as the storm swept across Central Europe.

The country’s weather service, Deutscher Wetterdienst, warned of widespread strong winds, and meteorological equipment at several German airports recorded gusts exceeding 30-40kt.

Weather data from Hamburg Airport showed winds gusting up to 49kt. The A320, identified as D-AIQP, was apparently arriving on runway 23 after a domestic service from Munich.

Its left wing-tip contacted the runway and the aircraft drifted far to the left of the centreline before the crew aborted the landing. Local reports, citing maintenance sources, indicate that the jet escaped with only superficial damage."

Here's a pic from


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw that on FlightGlobal. Crazy. And I thought the winglets were for aerodynamic purposes. Now I know they double as drag strips!

Splendor said...

Scary ... Good job they got away without severe damage.


GPS_Direct said...

Everything looks "in order" (as much as that can be said) until that gust catches them...

A great example of why it is sometimes better for flying to be a hobby vice a profession.

Aluwings said...

In an expanded version of the still image, I see all the flight controls at neutral! No rudder displacement - no aileron displacement!? i.e. What's the pilot doing?!

I also notice at the flare he kicks the crosswind crab angle off, and then doesn't seem to apply any right wing down control action to keep the wings level until touchdown to counter-act the crosswind...

After that he's just plain lucky the thing gets airborne again safely.

I don't want to criticize too strongly based on such small evidence but I find myself wondering: Why the Heck he would try to land on a wet runway in that kind of crosswind, and Was that really good crosswind landing technique?

It's at least questionable on both counts imho...

Anonymous said...

Hi aluwings,

The explanation may be that it was an Airbus. I've heard rumours that busses are kind of exciting to handle on XWind landings. Something about the pilot simply offering "advice" to the flight control computers. It essentially puts in a lot of lag at bad times, and does not seem to allow the crossed controls light a/c ( and Boeing classic! ) pilots are used to.

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous (at 4:01),

I have a few thousand hours in Airbus' and they handle just fine in crosswinds as long at the pilot applies finesse rather than brute force.

The joystick control is light and sensitive and the aircraft is responsive - especially with Flaps 3 rather than FULL (as required by SOPs for landing in turbulence).

And no matter the aircraft type, if you are applying full (and correct) control input and it is proving to be inadequate - time to get the heck out of there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your clarifying comment "previous anonymous". Agreed! And there's nothing like the voice of experience. I just barely know what I don't know, if you follow my drift.


Aviatrix said...

Heh, guess who hasn't been keeping up on her colleagues' blogs. I just posted on the same story, with similar conclusions to Aluwings. My next project has to be to figure out how to get embedded video in my blog. I tried it ages ago and got nothing but error messages, so went back to text.

zb said...

@ aviatrix,

I actually do like your blog to be mostly text with no embedded stuff except for the occasional picture. It guarantees beautifully fast loading times on any type of connection and any architecture and makes your blog a pleasant read even on, say, a Mac PowerBook running linux, where no flash player is available yet (to my knowledge). Clicking right on a link you provide and choosing "open link in new window" in the appearing context menu isn't that much work anyway.

Just like a good speaker at a radio station tries to use clear language and pronounciation so anyone listening to the program will understand the message without trouble, things like clarity and interoperability (what a word!) are important with electronic information on blogs and websites.

Another good example is avionics being compatible in a way that steam gauges can be used in much the same way as glass cockpit stuff. Isn't it a beauty that we can experience DC-9s lined up in the same approach sequence with brand new 340s and see how well they all get along guided by the same ground NavAids and ATC systems?

Tim Perkins said...

Forget the Airbus stuff, I thought you were going to let us in on how you and Lisa met!