Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hero Pilots?

By now, you have probably seen the Lufthansa crosswind landing video from Hamburg.

Perhaps you have heard about the "Hero Pilot" who saved his aircraft and passengers from "150 MPH" winds.

As a commercially rated pilot and a flight instructor, I suspected that there was much more to this story.

First of all, the reported wind speed had to be exaggerated. I hadn't heard of a Category 4 hurricane hitting Hamburg this week, did you?

Secondly, what were they doing even attempting to land on that runway in those conditions? I would think that the airport in a city the size of Hamburg has a crosswind runway.

Well, now we know the rest of the story.

It turns out that our "hero pilots" were attempting to land in a direct 50 Knot (57 mph) crosswind.

Here is an illustration of the Hamburg airport using Google maps.

Any beginning flight student will tell you that our "hero pilots" were attempting to land on the Wrong Runway!

1 comment:

Rick Lehtinen said...

Looks to me like you have here a compelling story, well told. But why is no one commenting on it? I'd have thought it would have generated a lot of comment!