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Sci-Tech

Watch a pilot battle incredible winds to secure a landing

Commentary: At Dusseldorf airport in Germany, windy landings are a regular occurrence. This one, however, looks like it was especially fun.

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


Plane

The aircraft, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

Pacific Press

From time to time, it's worth pausing to consider how humans can still expertly control machines.

Before the other way around becomes more common, you understand.

One of the more spectacular places to enjoy -- or, depending on your perspective, endure -- the spectacle of a human manipulating a machine is Germany's Dusseldorf airport.

The landing strips there are prone to severe crosswinds. 

Last October, for example, we paused to witness an Emirates Airbus A380 rock, roll, and perform several other motions before successfully touching down.

Now here's footage of a much smaller plane, a turboprop, braving the maddening winds of Storm Friederike on Thursday, as the Eurowings airlines flight arrives from Westerland.

Because this plane is much smaller than the Airbus, it appears to be the plaything of the breezes.

It sways sideways and up and down almost simultaneously.

Its nose lifts, then sags. At any moment, passengers on board must have feared that the plane would plummet nose-first into the ground.

There are brief moments when everything seems stable. Then the random movements begin again.

The plane lands sideways, which must have been the same direction passengers' innards were flying throughout that landing.

I contacted Eurowings to ask whether everyone was all right after this buffeting experience. I will update, should I hear.

The video has already been witnessed by more than 2 million people on YouTube, and the poster, one Hans van den Hovel, says the winds were 110 kilometers an hour (around 68 miles an hour).

While we often marvel at spectacular takeoffs and aerobatics during air shows, it's worth remembering the everyday expertise that pilots show when the weather is against them.

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