[Video] Airbus A380 scary crosswind landing at Narita airport

Crosswind landings are quite frequent at military and civil airports all around the world.

In such conditions, depending on the type of aircraft, pilots may be required to apply a Wind Correction Angle (WCA) and “crab” the plane aligning nose and tail with the wind direction to counter the drifting effect of side winds.

Usually crabbed approaches are safe, unless gusts are particularly strong. As in the following video.

Reportedly filmed at Narita airport, Tokyo, on Mar. 13, 2013, the footage shows a scary approach by a Thai Airbus 380 under a max crosswind of 27.4 m/s.

The heavy liner almost touches the ground with the right wingtip before coming to a safe halt.

A famous mishap cause by strong crosswinds occurred on Mar. 1, 2008, when a Lufthansa Airbus 320 approaching runway 23 at Hamburg performed an unstable flare and slided the left wingtip along the tarmac suffering wing and slat damage.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. When putting the ailerons into the wind just before tuchdown, you can tell that it was a clear Pilot error and not a gust… although it had tough conditions…

  2. @123 what an expertise comment, dumbhead!
    Crosswind landing technique requires a crossed control condition prior to touch down so as to align the aircraft longitudinal axis with the runway. To counter act the wind drift you have to lower the luvward wing to keep the flight vector along the runway.
    Therefore you HAVE to put the ailerons into the wind while stepping on the rudder in the opposite direction. The time for “decrap” is instructed by the manufacturer, so for Airbus, it is during flare just before touch down. That means, th pilot acted in the right way, but weather conditions were challanging!
    Shut up if you don’t know what you are talking about!

  3. Agree with MD11F. With the A380 it’s just before touch down. The 747s 767s etc could land with the crab and kick it straight on the ground, you see this quite a lot too.
    The old saying that any landing you walk away from is a good one bears pretty true sometimes. Non-pilots aren’t really qualified to pass judgment in conditions like the video above. I am guessing the pilot was quite happy with it.

  4. Any details on the METAR? The video says the winds were 27.4 meters/second, which roughly translates to 55 knots. I don’t know any aircraft with that sort of crosswind limit. Although, knowing NRT, it was gusty, windshear and moderate turbulence. Regardless, it was a hideous landing.

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