This is what it looks like to land a Super Airbus A-380 in a 40 knot crosswind!
JP Santiago, an #avgeek and avgeekery.com contributor shared his deep knowledge of the Airbus A-380’s approach during a very windy day recently at DFW airport:
Thanks to crosswinds at 290 gusting to 40-42 knots, the QANTAS A380 flight Monday last week crabbed sharply on approach to 36L and touched down on the left mains first- note the right wing mains haven’t touched down yet. Note also the rudder deflection- the A380 has a two piece rudder and in flight, only the lower section is used- the fin is the same size as an A320’s wing with the chord of the A340’s wing. The upper rudder section is so far from the longitudinal axis that if it were used in flight, it would induce a rolling motion. The upper rudder section becomes active on wheel spin up to provide more directional control. It also seemed to me that the lower section has more range of motion than the upper section watching it move during the crosswind landing.
And that’s why pilots get paid the big bucks. Keeping over 400 passengers safe while flying a $200M+ jet in challenging conditions is no small task. The pilots are everyday heroes who make the difficult look easy. We can only guess that as they rolled out on the runway in such treacherous conditions, the captain told the copilot, ” Keep those crosswind controls in, mate!”