An Etihad A380 crosswind
An Etihad A380 on a crosswind landing at London's Heathrow airport Image Credit: Youtube screengrab

Dubai: An Etihad A380 braved strong winds on Saturday, February 15, while attempting to land in the UK.

A captivating video of the landing, posted on Youtube, shows the world’s largest commercial passenger plane negotiating crosswinds as it was approaching the runway.

In the video, Etihad pilots are seen braving the maddening, stubborn winds as the massive aircraft gingerly descends upon the runway. The pilots pulled off a rather classy sideways steer.

Indeed it is always fascinating to see an A380 up close and front. And when this massive flying machine tackles stubborn winds, looking every bit like it's dancing in the air before it hits terra firma, it's a sight to behold.

One can't help it but watch in awe of the pilots who skillfully tackle unseen, but powerful, forces of nature — landing hundreds of passengers and crew unscathed.

"Nailed it. Great landing!," a Youtube commented.

Severe weather

Severe weather warnings are in place for much of the UK over the weekend, with Storm Dennis kicking up 144 km/h (90mph) winds and triggering floods in several areas of the country.

The behemoth of the skies, typically weighing around 1.26 million pounds, was buffeted by strong winds as it was coming in to land at London’s Heathrow airport.

“Good job landing gear engineers. Heck of a side load. At about 00:25 you can see a secondary puff of smoke as the rear mains finish skidding to a straight track again,” commented another.

A spokesperson of Etihad, based in Abu Dhabi, confirmed the video was authentic and recent, adding that the A380 flew from Abu Dhabi to London.

After the A380 landed, it vacated left towards the terminal where Etihad is based at London’s Heathrow airport.

In aviation, a crosswind landing is a landing manoeuvre in which a significant component of the prevailing wind is perpendicular to the runway center line.

'Crabbing' a plane

When landing in a crosswind — meaning there is wind traveling not parallel to the runway — it is sometimes necessary to "crab" a plane, sort of like a crab moving sideways.

“Crabbing” means to point the nose of the aircraft (partially) toward the incoming wind while keeping the plane’s undercarriage itself moving towards the runway.