Video shows the moment a double-tiered Airbus A380 made a sideways 'crab' landing while battling 50 mph winds at Heathrow Airport

insider@insider.com (Bill Bostock)
An image from a video showing a plane landing sideways at Heathrow Airport in London on Saturday during Storm Dennis.

Twitter/ABC

  • A hair-raising video shows the moment an Airbus A380 landed sideways at Heathrow Airport as high winds from Storm Dennis pummeled the UK.
  • The two-tiered plane can be seen fighting the winds, almost at a 90-degree angle to the runway, before finally touching down.
  • Winds around the airport reached 50 mph on Saturday, Sky News reported. Hundreds of flights in and out of the UK were canceled over the weekend because of the storm.
  • Scroll down to see the video of the landing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An agonizing video shows the moment a two-tiered Airbus A380 was forced to land sideways at London Heathrow Airport as high winds pummeled the UK.

The Etihad aircraft used the "crosswind," or "crab," landing tactic during its arrival from Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Sky News reported.

The aircraft, which weighs 1.2 million pounds, is the world's largest passenger plane. It is typically flown by two pilots, according to Sky News.

Hundreds of flights into and out of the UK were canceled because of high winds from Storm Dennis, which struck the UK over the weekend. The UK-based easyJet alone canceled more than 230 flights on Saturday, the newspaper Metro reported.

Watch the video of the landing, taken by planespotters at SpeedbirdTV, here:

This kind of landing is typically attempted in a crosswind — when high winds are blowing across runways — and pilots of incoming aircraft have to face their planes into the prevailing wind as a means of stabilizing the plane before landing.

Les Westbrooks, a retired airline pilot who is now an aeronautical professor, told Business Insider's Alex Appolonia how this landing worked:

"At the last minute, we want to move the nose of the aircraft parallel with the runway, but soon as we do that, the aircraft's going to start blowing off to the side of the runway with the wind," he said.

"So in order to counteract that, we'd lower the wing, the upwind wing, we lower the wing, and straighten the nose out, and a perfect crosswind landing will be when the upwind wheel touches down first, the aircraft is straight down the runway, and then the second wheel will come down after that."

Storm Dennis brought high winds and record rainfall in the UK, with meteorologists recording 91-mph winds in Aberdaron, Wales, on Saturday evening. Authorities have put in severe flood warnings across England and Wales.

Read the original article on Business Insider