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Crosswind

Sitting across from the runway at Gatwick this morning, I was watching the landing traffic with some interest, as the gusts of wind became intense. I didn't have to wait long before I watch one A400 "Go around". The wind shear was not as severe as that in the Frankfurt video, shown below, but was enough for the pilot to think twice in the circumstances, as I estimated that the wind was almost 90 degrees off the runway and at least 45 knots.

I did feel rather sorry for the passengers, who must have realised at that moment how difficult the landing was going to be and had to look forward to a second attempt, which obviously proved a success.

When people climb on-board a modern airliner in all weathers there's always that blase confidence that nothing can go wrong and that accidents only happen once in a million flights. But up at the 'sharp-end' there's always a very different view of the prevailing conditions and pilots are trained to watch themselves and each other for the first signs of panic, such as hyper-ventillation and the dangers of tunnel vision in the mandatory multi-crew training courses that have made a dramatic contribution to the reduction of accidents over the last twenty years.

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