Turbulent touchdowns, Birmingham, UK

This is a collection of short videos of commercial airplanes landing at Birmingham, UK (BHX) airport on very difficult days for pilots. The filming and compilation is by flugsnug who has lots of commercial flying videos in his YouTube channel.

This seems like an odd video to embed here but I’ve always been amazed by video compilations like this one and this is an extremely high quality video. I recommend zooming it out to full screen if you can.

The reason the runaways look bumpy and the planes have the perspective they do is that videographer used a long lens which compresses the scene.

Crosswinds make pilots steer into them and the planes seem to be, and actually are traveling at very extreme and seemingly odd angles to the runway. This is called “crabbing” and is common. What makes these particular landings difficult and scary is that the winds are changing so these pilots are working very hard to keep the planes moving in the right direction with the right glide path to land.

As you can see, a number of pilots touch and go, take off again because they can’t get the plane stabilized safely.

As a person who has flown a lot, all over the world in many types of planes and in many types of conditions, I can relate to what passengers must be going through during these landings. Watching this made me extremely uneasy.

[via Sploid]

National Airport, Washington, DC

National Airport

Flickr member L. Shanley has posted a very nice image of (Ronald Reagan) National Airport in Washington, DC taken with a Sony RX100.

National is one of the few major airports I’ve not been to over 50 times (Dulles 100s). I avoided it because the idiots in Congress made it close by 10 pm because they didn’t like the sound of planes overhead. Noise isn’t okay for them but it’s okay for the rest of us. I was once in a US Air plane bound for Hartford and it was 9:59 pm and we were rolling down the runway. The clock struck 10 pm and the pilot had to cancel the takeoff because his wheels weren’t off the ground at 10 pm. We went back to the gate and we had to stay the night in a hotel near the airport, at our own expense. This did not endear me to Congress or the FAA for letting them make this insane rule.

I remember landing there once in a small commuter (curtain between pilots and passengers) just after it was renamed “Ronald Reagan National Airport” and the pilot came on the intercom and said: “We’ll be landing at Washington National Airport in ten minutes. Sorry, but I refuse to use its new name, George Washington was a great President.”

Many of us clapped.