I have just returned from a work trip to Alicante. I have had a fear of flying for 6 years or so due to a previous bad experience.

 

My mission for this trip was to think rationally and deal with what i know. The flight out wasnt too bad. I did have my usualy little cry before boarding and the take off was a little bumpy due to the weather but i mainly took charge of my emotions and dealt with the flight calmly.

 

The return flight i was feeling confident and boarded the plane without hitch and took off and comenced the flight. I was feeling a little apprehensive about the landing as had been told by the captain that the weather is Birmingham was wet and gusty. (before the flight out the plane coming in to land prior to our take off missed his approach.)

 

we started our descent half an hour prior to landing and was initially fine, a little bumpy however i just told myself this was fine. I was ok until 10 mins prior to laning and the air stewardess' took their seats for landing. Extremly turbulent the plane was all over the place and banking shaply from side to side. The captain then came over the tannoy and announced he was turning the emergency exit signs on and to familierise ourself with their location. Even the experienced flyers on the plane were looking aprehensive. Looking out the window i could see we were almost level with the houses next to the runway and still swaying a lot violently from side to side, you could feel the crosswinds affecting the direction of the plane. I do understand that with crosswinds the pilot has 2 options which i believe are to lands in a crab possition or at a slight angle but this landing just felt lout of control. Is it normal for the pilot to turn on the emergency exit lights mid descent.

 

I still feel i dealt with it well and the group i was travelling with said i impressed them by staying calm. but i think its a shame this happened as now feel more apprehensive about my next flight in April. I know we landed safely but just want to clarify if this was a normal crosswind landing.

 

 

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Hi Caroline

 

Well done. You really must come to the course in March! It'll answer a lot of the questions you ask and lots more as well.

As far as I know there are no such things as emercy exit signs that can be operated by the pilot, so i think you must have misheard what the pilot said. There's no way that you could have been almost level with the houses...runways aren't built like that...they have to have clear areas around them.  Imagine a line going up from the centre of the runway along its entire length , then imagine an enormous flat piece of stiff  cardboard making a sort of sloping angle so that it looks like you're at the bottom of a flat sloping hill, then imagine another one on the other side as well ...  nothing is allowed to stick up above those 'slopes'. Here's a picture.

This one is from the other direction  but it shows what I mean. 

 

So no houses I'm sorry to say  ALTHOUGH it probABLY looked very different to you!


Oh dear... sorry to say...but you can't feel a crosswind inside the plane either..you just felt the normal bumps. 

The two things you say about the crosswind landing are the same thing...the bigger the plane the more likely it will touchdown with the wing down on the side the wind is coming from. The plane will 'crab' on the approach and then at about 400' the pilot will allow the wing to go down on the side from which the wind is blowing and keep the plane straight in line with the runway by using the opposite rudder This combination will keep the plane in line with the runway and stop it drifting down wind. Wet doesn't matter either we just land more firmly!

Now then NONE of this technical stuff matters. What is most important is the fact that YOU DIT IT and the chances are you'll be better next time, So a big well done from me.

 

Don't forget if you come n the course and it doesn't work for you yo get your money back. Nothing to lose , everything to gain.

 

WELL DONE from me

 

Captain Keith

 

Hi Keith

 

Unfortunately i dont have the funds to book the course at the moment, but its definately on my to do list. It was very windy last night. As for the emergency exit light, it was definately not lit as we started our decent and then had the bing bong sound and the light was turned on.

 

could definately feel it was windy from inside the plane. I did make sure i was looking out of the window and watching the horizon.

 

Why does the plane 'tip' from side to side almost as if struggling to stay level?

 

I appreciate what i may feel from inside the plane is not actually the reality, but i am clearly improving. no hyperventilating this time although i did cry with relief when i got off.

 

 

Hi Caroline

 

Yes I think you've done suprtbly  that's why the technical stuff doesn't really matter other than to  keep you thinking factually rather than emotionally.

 

You'll certainly notice if it's windy but you won't be able to tell it's a crosswind. Are you asure it wasn't the no smoking/seat belt sign? Seems odd that I don't know what it might have been. Emergency lights come on when the electrical supply is shut off. As they're described...for emergency conditions. Maybe it's a plane I don't know and when the seat belt signs are swirtched on the exit light illuminates as well. Do you know what plane it was...I'll try to find out what it was and why.

 

Crying doesn't matter. Doing it...facing your fear does and you've done that without doubt. Like I said  WELL DONE.


Captain Keith

It was a Thomas Cook plane, think it was an Airbus A330. it was a white sign next to the toilet sign with red writing saying exit. it was a plane the company i work for chartered.

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