FEB 20, 2019 7:03 PM PST

Here's How Pilots Land Massive Airplanes in Windy Conditions

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

No matter how large an aircraft is, it can be susceptible to crosswinds as it approaches the runway. Airplane pilots know this, and they’re trained to conduct specialized maneuvers that are intended to counteract crosswinds and ensure a straight landing as the airplane’s landing gear touches down.

In some cases, an airplane might look like it’s landing sideways as it approaches the landing site in windy conditions. But never fear, the pilot is merely trying to get as close to the runway as possible while simultaneously fighting the crosswind. As the plane’s landing gear approaches the runway, the pilot will lean into the crosswind and straighten the aircraft’s nose to conduct a near-perfect landing.

Failing to get the nose straight during a high-speed airplane landing would put incredible strain on the landing equipment, and could potentially cause it to collapse. With that in mind, pilots are careful to check their gauges and make hair-trigger adjustments as necessary before landing.

In some cases, the pilot experiences an unexpected gust of wind during these critical moments in landing. When that happens, the airplane will abort the landing and increase altitude again in preparation for what’s called a ‘go-around.’ If the conditions are too harsh to land, the pilot may fly to a different airport to execute a safe landing.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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