Looking at the comments below this photo, there seems to be a disagreement as to whether this 30 mph crosswind landing is a good or a bad one.
A few of the comments:
"Nice shot. Perfect cross-wind landing utilizing the wing down method!"
"Great photo but this is not a perfect crosswind landing! If you have had to manoeuvre the jet like this so close to touchdown you have misjudged the crosswind! Sorry to disappoint the armchair experts! "
"This is a proper crosswind landing, especially in the gusty conditions at LAS. Ignore anyone who says otherwise."
"Strong crosswind from the left (check the METARs), upwind wing dipped, opposite rudder deflection. Sounds right to me! It would've been fun to be on board that aircraft, and even better to be on a Tedbus listening in on Channel 9..."
So - was this a good landing, which utilized standard protocol in the given wind conditions, or was it not?
"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
ZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7059 posts, RR: 12 Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12748 times:
Dunno about the bigger aircraft but it is usual in smaller aircraft to put one side down before the other into wind. So judging by that and if the same technique is used on the Boeings, he is very skilled to not have a pod strike and a great landing
Silver1swa From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4655 posts, RR: 27 Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12457 times:
Everyone commenting on that photo seems to assume the plane was in that profile the entire final approach/flare. I say, chances are, the photographer caught a last second dip of the wing due to a strong gust during the flare. A couple of years ago, an AA MD-80 was caught on tape at LAS during gusty conditions. The MD-80 dipped a wing at the last second before touchdown and the wing actually scraped the ground. I would bet this was a similar situation, and had the wing been lower like on the MD-80, the outcome might have been similar.
[Edited 2007-08-07 04:45:37]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
Slovacek747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12379 times:
It seems that they could have used a more "into the wind" landing given that LAS runways are more or less perpendicular (I know not exactly), but I bet they could have avoided that much of a crosswind.
Lowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10 Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 12273 times:
Assuming the landing worked out alright (ie, no damage), then it was good enough. I think it speaks well of the pilot flying stuck with the landing and did not accept any drift off the centerline. Some guys would say, "between the lights, good enough".
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20466 posts, RR: 56 Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 12114 times:
Yeah, it looks proper to me. Not very comfortable for the passengers to be flying that way, so you normally fly the approach crabbed and line up with the runway at the very end, which is what the photo captured.
It does look like a pretty hefty crosswind, though.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
MD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1322 posts, RR: 21 Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11562 times:
I've got a 737 type rating. The picture seems to shown a "wing down/top rudder" crosswind technique. When landing in a crosswind, you rarely will have a steady state wind. Instead you get gusts. The gusts require a pilot to make adjustments all the way to the ground. I can only guess that this pilot is correcting for a gust close to the ground. Undoubtedly he knows both cognitively and intuitively the angle of bank that will scrap a wingtip. So even though it may look extreme, I think it is pretty normal for a gusty, crosswind landing. Some guys use the "crab and kick" method which can work out nicely. I use the "wing down/top rudder technique" because it allows me to correct to centerline from way out (plus that was my original training). Both methods counter the side forces that want to make the airplane land on the runway side lighting. This guy also appears to be landing smack on the aim point. Since he is a SW guy - and they only hire very good pilots - and they only fly one type for their whole career, I'd guess this picture captures a professional utilizing all his skill and experience to put his machine exactly where he wants it despite challenging conditions. And if he is like most of us, he won't even remember the landing 20 minutes after he did it. It is just another landing.
Amazonphil From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 561 posts, RR: 1 Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11011 times:
Excellent techique and I'm sure the outcome was uneventful. This is a textbook cross control crosswind landing, and looks like the wind was from the pilot's left and using left aileron up/wing down & right rudder. Seems like he was landing on Rwy 19 with the Nellis AFB and mountains in the background... any LAS folks know for sure or were they using the east/west runways??..25 I believe.
Positiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 9 Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10846 times:
Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 15): I've got a 737 type rating. The picture seems to shown a "wing down/top rudder" crosswind technique. When landing in a crosswind, you rarely will have a steady state wind. Instead you get gusts. The gusts require a pilot to make adjustments all the way to the ground. I can only guess that this pilot is correcting for a gust close to the ground. Undoubtedly he knows both cognitively and intuitively the angle of bank that will scrap a wingtip. So even though it may look extreme, I think it is pretty normal for a gusty, crosswind landing. Some guys use the "crab and kick" method which can work out nicely. I use the "wing down/top rudder technique" because it allows me to correct to centerline from way out (plus that was my original training). Both methods counter the side forces that want to make the airplane land on the runway side lighting. This guy also appears to be landing smack on the aim point. Since he is a SW guy - and they only hire very good pilots - and they only fly one type for their whole career, I'd guess this picture captures a professional utilizing all his skill and experience to put his machine exactly where he wants it despite challenging conditions. And if he is like most of us, he won't even remember the landing 20 minutes after he did it. It is just another landing.
Access-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 14 Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10523 times:
I havea video of an American Eagle ATR-42 making this same kind of Landing in Moline Illinois back in 1992....So this was never any question in my eyes as to what was going on....I actualy also have a slide in my collection of an Ozark FH-227B touching down the exact same way at ORD but on the opposite main as the SW 737....
Matter factly heres the link to the Ozark shot....
Very good post. It's sooo easy to criticize a situation like this one. You see a photo from just one angle at the very second of the exposure and you have nothing else to judge the events leading up to it. So, you just say, "he must have made a mistake". Right? I was a flight attendant for 8 years, on the 737 as well as the MD series craft, and all their derivitives. This kind of approach was a very normal occurance, perhaps even daily depending on your route.
Quoting DeltaAVL (Thread starter): Great photo but this is not a perfect crosswind landing! If you have had to manoeuvre the jet like this so close to touchdown you have misjudged the crosswind! Sorry to disappoint the armchair experts! "
Quotes like that prove only one thing to me... too much ego and not enough experience. That, and they really just want to impress someone rather than depict the truth of it. You can never perfectly judge the wind. It's not a science. What a moron to suggest so.
BeechNut From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 710 posts, RR: 9 Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9236 times:
As MD88Captain points out there are many ways to counter a gusty crosswind. One is, as he mentioned, crab into the flare and kick out the crab at touchdown. The other is wing down, top rudder, as in the photograph. I only fly a Beech Sundowner...but I use a combination of the two. My plane really loves a stabilized approach. Moreover there is a 30 second restriction on slips to avoid unporting the fuel tanks. So I use the crab technique down to the flare, and then transition to the wing-down/top-rudder (slip into the wind) technique. I consistently get nice crosswind landings that way. Holding a slip all the way down final on a gusty crosswind will not yield a stabilized approach, as you are cross-controlled which is an inherently unstable situation which adds on to the instability imposed by the gusts.
So count me into the "looks like a fine crosswind landing" crowd. Reminds me of one I had (as passenger) in an AC DC-9 once.
Flyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 517 posts, RR: 4 Reply 23, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8871 times:
LAS is my home airport and I land their a lot in similar conditions. Whenever the cockpit tells the flight attendants to sit down early I know that we are in for a typical LAS summer approach. I always try to say something nice to the Captain and first officer, as we deplane, after they stick one of these. I appreciate their efforts.
Nautilusgr From Greece, joined Sep 2006, 57 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8070 times:
Please stop arguing!
I am quoting text from the 737NG manual. After reading, you will be able to judge for yourself.
Four methods of performing crosswind landings are presented. They are the sideslip, de-crab technique (with removal of crab in flare), crab technique and combination crab/sideslip technique.
Sideslip (Wing Low)
The sideslip crosswind technique aligns the aircraft with the extended runway course so that main gear touchdown occurs on the runway centerline. The initial phase of the approach to landing is flown using the crab method to correct for drift. Prior to the flare the airplane centerline is aligned on or parallel to the runway centerline. Downwind rudder is used to align the longitudinal axis to the desired track as aileron is applied into the wind to prevent drift. A steady sideslip is established with opposite rudder and low wing into the wind to hold the desired course. Touchdown is accomplished with the upwind wheels touching just before the downwind wheels. Overcontrolling the roll axis must be avoided because overbanking could cause the engine nacelleor outboard wing flap to contact the runway. (See Ground Clearance Angles - Normal Landing charts, this chapter.) Properly coordinated, this maneuver will result in nearly fixed rudder and aileron control positions during the final phase of the approach, touchdown, and beginning of the landing roll.
De-Crab during Flare
The objective of this technique is to maintain wings level throughout the approach, flare, and touchdown. On finalapproach, a crab angle is established with wings level to maintain the desired course. Just prior to touchdown while flaring the airplane, downwind rudder is applied to eliminate the crab and align the airplane with the runway centerline. As rudder is applied, the upwind wing will sweep forward, developing roll. Hold wings level with simultaneous application of aileron control into the wind. The touchdown is made with cross controls and both gear touching down simultaneously. Throughout the touchdown phase upwind aileron application is utilized to keep the wings level.
On very slippery runways the crosswind crab angle may be maintain to touchdown. This will reduce drift toward the downwind side when touching down. Since the aircraft does not have to be decrabbed, pilot workload is reduced. Proper rudder and upwind aileron must be maintained to ensure directional control is maintained. On slippery runways, crosswind capability is a function of runway surface conditions, airplane loading and pilot technique. The airplane can land using crab only (zero side slip) up to the landing crosswind guideline speeds. (See the landing crosswind guidelines table, this chapter)
Combining Crab and Sideslip
It may be necessary to combine crab and sideslip during strong crosswinds. Main gear touchdown is made with the wing low and crab angle applied. As the upwind gear touches first, a slight increase in downwind rudder is applied to straighten the nose. A simultaneous application of aileron is applied to maintain wings level.
[Edited 2007-08-07 20:02:06]
25 Silver1SWA: What I was talking about goes along with what MD88Captain described here... But, in response to your question, if you read my post in reply 6, wing s
26 Morvious: Short but so true!! As far as the image concerns, this isn't a landing yet
27 S12PPL: ...Who cares? Thanks for sharing... Thanks for your insight! Nice to hear from an actual 737 pilot However, as others have stated: Why are we arguing
28 AirTran717: Absolutely! If I were a pilot, I'd be offended by anyone but another pilot critiquing my landings. If you aren't a pilot, you have no knowledge base
29 B777fan: BeechNut, Last week I landed a Sundowner at PWK with a 12 knot direct cross and was hit by a strong gust just prior to touchdown. For a second, I fel
30 BeechNut: Thread drift, but I must say that I have never flown an aircraft that has given me such rewarding landings, yet the Sundowner has a reputation of bei
31 Amazonphil: MD88Captain, Very good post, however I might add that the attitude of the aircraft could be taken two ways...one as you state above, correcting for a
32 Nautilusgr: The wingtips of the 737-600 and 737-700 are between 11' 11'' and 12' 9'' off ground, depending on loading. The 738 and 739 are 12 feet above ground.
33 N766UA: Typically you'll put 1 main down at a time in a crosswind, with the windward side going down first. So, for what that's worth... looks fine to me.
34 Amazonphil: You're actually correct here with regard to the wings....I also do alot of vert/horiz. stab inspections and was getting my heights turned around..the