One time I got caught in a crosswind while landing. We ended up landing so hard, we needed a tow to the gate.
Even the most seasoned pilot can struggle in a crosswind. They can suddenly happen and make landing a lot more difficult.
In aviation, a crosswind is the component of wind that is blowing across the runway, making landings and take-offs more difficult than if the wind were blowing straight down the runway. If a crosswind is strong enough, it can damage an aircraft’s undercarriage upon landing. Crosswinds, sometimes abbreviated as X/WIND, are reported in knots, abbreviated kt, and often use the plural form in expressions such as “with 40kt crosswinds”. Smaller aircraft are often not limited by their ability to land in a crosswind, but may see their ability to taxi safely reduced.
There is a great video of a pilot navigating the crosswinds.
I need to warn you–the title totally exaggerates. It says the pilot saves the plan from crashing. It doesn’t look like the pilot was going to crash, but perhaps saved a hard landing. But I don’t think he would have crashed.
Still, this is a great video. It shows talent as a pilot and also a good call for a go-around (or, “let’s try that landing again!”) And his skills in balancing the plane once caught in the crosswind are top notch.