Watch planes wobble their way to a very scary landing

Technically Incorrect: On the Portuguese island of Madeira, approaches to the airport can be windblown. And frightening.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The runway is to your right, captain.

RT/Screenshot by CNET

A flight in a plane never looks quite the same from the inside as it does from the outside.

Inside, everything slows down when you look out the window. Until, that is, you see another plane, a few thousand feet below, zoom by.

Outside, you look at what the plane is doing and wonder how that monstrously heavy machine ever takes off and lands.

Here's an example. Video footage posted by RT on Saturday shows commercial pilots fighting the winds on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Perhaps it has something to do with the surrounding hills. Other airports with nearby mountain ranges, such as the one in Denver, are known for worrisome gusts. Nail-biting approaches aren't just about the breeze, though. At Hong Kong's old Kai Tak airport, approaching aircraft had to make a sharp turn at an altitude just barely above residential rooftops.

At Madeira's Funchal Airport, winds were said to reach 49 mph on Thursday. Pilots were pointing their planes at 45 degrees to the runway in order to steady their aircraft.

Nothing, however, seemed all that steady.

The footage shows a plane landing on just one wheel. The pilot of another, however, begins his or her 45-degree approach and then appears to say "nope" and takes off again.

The usual disclaimer to such footage is that experienced pilots will say this is nothing at all. Commercial pilots are trained for such situations.

Yet to the casual and sometimes less than relaxed traveler, such footage shows how difficult some landings can be.

Madeira's Funchal airport has long been regarded as one of the world's most treacherous.

I imagine that the passengers on these planes felt quite happy to not be on those planes anymore.

Featured Video