Category Archives: Aviation

Watch a Boeing 777 bank sharply and land in a 120 km/h wind storm

“Any landing you can walk away, is a good landing.”

The following video was shot at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Jul. 25.

It shows KLM Asia Boeing 777 flying as KLM868 (from Osaka) approaching the runway and landing with a dangerous roll to the right just before touchdown, induced by wind gusts up to 75 mph (120 km/h) measured at the Dutch airport.

In the past, we have posted articles with videos and photos showing crosswind (xwind) approaches performed by civil liners as well as military aircraft (both airlifters and tactical jets).

As explained back then, a common procedure used with xwind wing gusts is to “crab” the plane (i.e. to apply a WCA, Wind Correction Angle, by aligning nose with the wind direction).

Just before touchdown, the pilot usually reduces the WCA angle in order to prevent landing gear damages by “decrabbing” the plane: this phase is the most dangerous one, as the airplane becomes more vulnerable to the gusts. For this reason, all aircraft apply cross-controls: left rudder, right aileron (if wind is coming from starboard) meaning rudder and aileron in opposite directions.

This doesn’t mean that the aircraft has always to lower the wing on the upwind side, but this may be required to keep the aircraft on the runway even though many experienced pilots landing on dry runway are able to land with levelled wings.

 

Incredible dashcam footage captures Taiwan plane crash

Shocking footage shows the ATR-72 turboprop plane banking sharply, hitting a cab and clipping a bridge before crashing into Keelung river, near Taipei.

TransAsia flight GE 235, an ATR-72-600 with registration B-22816 from Taipei Songshan Airport to Kinmen islands, crashed at around 10.55 local time (02.55 GMT) into the Keelung River near Taipei.

According to Taiwan’s aviation agency, the turboprop plane was carrying 58 people (5 crew members and 53 passengers), 12 of those have died in the crash according to the latest reports (07.30 GMT).

The aircraft was filmed banking sharply, hitting a cab on a bridge and then crashing into the river by dash camera aboard a car.

Maximum speed recorded through ADS-B by Flightradar24 receivers in the area was 116 Knots (a bit low for a departing aircraft).

Taiwan crash

Image credit: Flightradar24.com

 

These are the best videos of the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747‬ emergency landing at Gatwick

A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 was forced to perform an emergency landing at London Gatwick Airport after main landing gear issue.

On Dec. 29, a Boeing 747-400, registration G-VROM, operating as flight VS43 from London Gatwick to Las Vegas, suffered a Main Landing Gear failure immediately after take off.

After two low passes and circling for a few hours over southern England dumping fuel, the Boeing 747 performed a safe, bumpy, landing at Gatwick, with the still retracted right outboard MLG, just before 16.00 GMT.

Here are the best videos of the mishap we’ve found online.

Another one, shot from the runway end.

Here’s all we know about the Indonesian Airbus 320 disappeared over Java Sea

AirAsia A320 gone missing in southeast Asia

On Dec. 28, an Airbus A320-200, registration number PK-AXC, flying as AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 from Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, to Changi Airport, Singapore, lost contact with Air Traffic Control at 06:24 LT over Java Sea.

155 passengers were on board the aircraft: 137 adults, including 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew and 1 engineer, 17 children and 1 infant.

The aircraft was piloted by a captain with an experience of 20,537 flying hours, 6,100 of which were with AirAsia Indonesia on the Airbus A320. The first officer had a total of 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia.

According to Indonesia’s Transport Ministry, while flying at FL320 (32,000 feet), QZ8501 requested to deviate and climb to FL380 to avoid very bad weather in the area. Clearance to climb could not immediately be granted because of nearby air traffic.

The Ministry said the aircraft could be tracked by ADS-B until 06:18, when it went missing from radars. Flight crew did not radio any mayday or emergency message.

Noteworthy, a leaked ATC image published by Gerry Soejatman on Twitter shows the AirAsia flight climbing through 36300ft with a Ground Speed of only 353 knots: provided the image is genuine, the radar screenshot would show an airplane much slower than expected at that altitude (a nearby Emirates flight at FL360 – 36,000 feet – was flying at 503 knots).

Leaked ATC image GS FL

Image credit: via G Soejatman (highlights mine)

Flightradar24 receivers have tracked the flight by means of ADS-B until 06:12, when the aircraft was at FL320, 469 knots, 310° heading.

Although any attempt to explain the reason for the disappearance of the AirAsia flight is pure speculation at this time, we can’t but notice at least one apparent similarity with another famous crash: Air France 447.

AF447 was an Airbus 330 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris that plummeted 38,000 feet in 3 minutes and 30 seconds and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. In that case, pilots responded to a stall, induced by inconsistencies between the airspeed measurements likely due to pitot tubes being obstructed by ice, by pulling the nose up instead of pushing it down to attempt a recover.

Even though a low Ground Speed can be caused by strong head winds, the fact that nearby Emirates was cruising at 36,000 feet at a speed of 503 knots, seems to suggest that the missing Airbus 320 was probably too slow and closer to the stall speed than it should have been.

Anyway, although no sign of wreckage, oil, debris were found so far, experts believe there are more chances to locate the aircraft than the Malaysia Airlines MH370 which vanished in March this year and has not be found yet.

Image credit: Flightradar24.com

 

A320 flying beside Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two mothership carrying SpaceShipTwo

An unbelievable footage, filmed in 2011, shows a really unusual formation, including an Airbus 320 and White Knight Two carrying the SpaceShipTwo, disintegrated over Mojave desert few days ago.

On Apr. 6, 2011, Virgin America A320 named “My Other Ride is a Spaceship” flew beside Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo over San Francisco to celebrate Virgin America’s new terminal at SFO airport.

The following footage was filmed from aboard the Airbus, as the “mothership” and an accompanying Beechcraft Baron 58 chase plane rejoined on the liner’s left wing, in a rendez-vous reminding that of the receivers on an aerial refueler, to take some cool images of the rather unusual formation.

With a service ceiling of 60,000 feet, the jet-powered cargo aircraft used to lift the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to a release altitude of 50,000 feet, features two fuselage, one of those is an exact replica of that of SpaceShipTwo to allow tourist training.

On Oct. 31, during a first test over Mojave desert, SS2 disintegrated in flight, seconds after release from White Knight Two. Although the cause of the incident is still being investigated, NTSB team revealed that an uncommanded feather deployment occurred 9 sec. after ignition of the hybrid rocket, possibly overstressing the airframe until it collapsed.

H/T Stefano Perer/Flapa for the heads-up