Travel

We Asked A Pilot About The 'Terrifying' Landing Going Viral

The video has 3 million views on YouTube — but is the landing really that bad?

Did you see this scary video of a plane landing in the teeth of a storm and vow to never fly again? Fear not. A pilot tells us the landing wasn't nearly as dangerous as it looks.

The worst July storm of the century hit Amsterdam Airport Schipol hard this weekend. Dozens of flights were delayed by winds of up to 63 mph and ferocious rain and hail. The storm killed three people across Europe.

One pilot was captured on video landing a Boeing 777 in the horrendous conditions for Royal Dutch Airlines. To an untrained eye, it looks like the plane came very close to crashing as it swerved and shook in the wind.

The landing was captured in a video and uploaded to YouTube on Saturday. It's been written up as a terrifying ordeal.

But pilot, blogger and author Patrick Smith wasn't fazed by the clip.

"My first reaction after watching the video was, 'That's it?'" he said. "This is typical of the way these things are typically scooped up by the Internet and sensationalized."

"It looks fairly dramatic, but it was not dangerous," he reassured us. Videos of landings tend to look a lot more dramatic than they actually are. Those judders and swerves? Just normal reactions to gusty crosswinds.

"For the passengers on board, I'm sure there was some jostling, but the plane didn't come anywhere close to crashing," he says.

For example, you may have noticed that the plane tilts to its right just before it touches down. It looks like it comes close to flipping over into a fireball of death. Actually, Smith says, that's a deliberate correction to the crosswind. Pilots are trained to land at an angle, so the wheels closest to the wind land first. That helps stop the wind from pushing the plane sideways across the runway.

"That landing was well within the capabilities of the pilots and also the aircraft," Smith stresses.

Pilots are trained to abort landings if they feel unsafe, and they don't lose face among the crew for doing so, he says.

KLM did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told CNBC that its pilots "applied the relevant procedures" in the face of the storm. "KLM pilots were well able to deal with it and ensure the safety of passengers and crew."

Nervous flyers of YouTube, you can officially relax.

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