Manual Flying Skills Tested

 - March 17, 2014, 9:45 AM

Despite too many incidents and accidents recently in which pilots’ basic flying skills have come into question, a succession of pilots tasked with operating at Birmingham Airport in the UK this winter put on a fine display of hand-flying. The action was captured on an 11-minute video by that shows 27 aircraft taking off and landing at Birmingham in a fierce, gusty crosswind. The camera’s long lens provides a captivating perspective as the aircraft and crews battle the conditions, revealing not only extreme crabbing and many gust-induced excursions but also the flexing of the airframes, ranging from Q400s to 777s. Some crews managed to wrestle their aircraft to the surface while others wisely decided a go-around was the prudent choice.