Bad Etihad Airways A380 Landing At London Heathrow Is Incredible To Watch

As a storm raged across the UK, this Etihad Airways pilot didn’t let a little bit of wind stop him from landing the passenger jet at a terrifying angle.

All too often, we hear stories of things going very wrong in and around planes. Take the infamous “nut rage” incident where a Korean Irline heiress lost her temper or the supersonic jet that shattered $10 million worth of new windows as prime examples. This time, however, we have good news: the pilots of an Airbus A380 executed a lifesaving “crab landing” at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The maneuver, named for the sideways walking style of crabs, was made necessary by strong crosswinds that made a usually run-of-the-mill landing into an unexpectedly risky endeavour. The Etihad Airways jet was filmed in 2020, angling sideways as it approached the runway. This technique is used by pilots to effectively “ride” the crosswind before aligning with the runway moments before landing.

The storm — dubbed ‘Storm Dennis’, according to the UK’s somewhat hilarious storm-naming conventions — savaged the UK across the weekend in question, with at least one person reported to have died as a result of weather conditions and flash floods popping up across the nation.

The Airbus A380 is renowned for its vast size, often referred to as the “giant of the skies” it’s actually the largest passenger jet on earth. With a seating capacity of 525, these double-decker jet — valued at a heady $445.6 million AUD a piece — is renowned for the luxurious pointy end fit-outs that airlines often chose to bestow upon its vast chassis, including the since-revoked but pretty damn special “Residence” first-class apartment.

Handling such a massive aircraft — which has a maximum landing weight of 394 tons — demands next-level piloting prowess. Thankfully for this captain, there was precedent for this kind of success under pressure. Not the first time an A380 has been seen performing complex maneuvers under challenging conditions, another retiring Airbus A380 pilot is reported to have conducted a similarly spectacular maneuver during his final flight.

The successful landing of the Etihad Airbus A380 was rightly met with widespread acclaim, particularly on social media where footage of the landing went viral in a matter of hours. Viewers praised the pilots for their composure and skill, with one viewer on YouTube saying this:

“This pilot is just a great champion, the passengers owe him a huge thank you. Bravo, Monsieur.”

Another took a slightly more tongue-in-cheek tone, but the sentiment of the message was just as kind:

“Every seat needed to be cleaned after this flight, and that pilot deserves a raise…”

This episode not only showcases the sturdiness of the mammoth Airbus A380 but also underscores the critical importance of pilot skill and training in ensuring the safety of passengers, no matter how demanding the circumstances outside may be.