Between hero and goat

An amazing video of the landing of a Lufthansa jet in Germany in ridiculous crosswinds has got us thinking today:

The pilots tried a standard technique called “a crab,” in which the nose is pointed into the wind, then the rudder is used at the last minute to kick the plane’s nose straight down the runway. Only in this case, the wind lifted the upwind wing and that was that.

The pilots did a terrific job aborting the landing and avoiding what would’ve been a disaster.

But, perhaps, lost in the adulation is the fact the pilots tried to land in the first place. According to the Daily Mail, winds were blowing at 155 mph at the time. As told, something’s not right with this story (Update: See Aaron’s comments below) because the “crosswind component” (the amount of crosswind in which an A320 has been demonstrated to land safely) is in the 40 knot range.

If everything is as reported, it could’ve been one of those kinds of pilot errors that often leaves people dead.