If you have a fear of flying it would be a terrible idea to watch this video. Then again, if you read that sentence and don't watch, you may live your life in fear not knowing exactly what you should be afraid of. Do you want to live your life in fear, or do you want to see what a crosswind can do to a plane landing? It’s sort of awesome, and at the same time equally terrifying.
Crosswind is literally defined as wind travelling across one’s direction of travel. Crosswind can happen all the time in all forms of transportation. In a car you may have experienced the effects of a crosswind if you’re driving and the force of wind from storm or another car shook your vehicle. When dealing in aviation it can be a little more difficult.
Crosswind can, in extreme cases (like this video), prevent a plane from landing on the runway. No, that doesn’t mean you’re going to crash and die, but rather the plane will make another pass on the airport and attempt to land from another direction. Even in the most extreme cases, a crosswind will more often than not cause structural damage and not cause the whole plane to crash and burn with all the people inside it. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be chomping at the bits to be experiencing it first hand.
Military planes such as the B-52 are equipped with special landing gear to counteract the effects of crosswind. The landing gear is doubled and steerable, allowing the plane to safely land in positions where it’s nose is not facing straight ahead. It’s also worth mentioning that if you fly in a non commercial small plane, your chances of experiencing crosswind as bad as the ones in this video is significantly decreased. It’s good to know that in the 21st century man has evolved to combat the elements and such. There’s still something about all of this that’s bugging me, however.
WHY DON’T COMMERCIAL AIRLINES HAVE THIS TECHNOLOGY? Granted I’ve only been flying once in my life, but I don’t want my second experience to be some aerial rodeo for the world to enjoy on YouTube at a later date! You can’t tell me that almost fifty years after we’ve landed on the moon we couldn’t have thrown on some military grade landing gear for the commercial airlines at a reasonable cost? The only thing I take solace in is that none of the planes experiencing crosswinds in this video crashed; so, at least the pilots got our backs.