Home Video WATCH: TAP Air Portugal A321neo makes dramatic nose-first landing in Madeira
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WATCH: TAP Air Portugal A321neo makes dramatic nose-first landing in Madeira

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A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A321-251NX (CS-TJQ) made a dramatic nose-first landing at Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo Airport (FNC) on March 26, 2023, while battling the strong crosswinds the airport is notorious for.

The aircraft, operating as flight TP-9576, was repositioning from Porto Santo Airport (PXO) with no passengers on board. This may have contributed to the unusual landing, as a lighter aircraft can be more susceptible to wind gusts.

A video uploaded by Madeira Airport Spotting shows the A321neo floating above the runway for an extended period. In an attempt to descend and touch down, the pilots appear to have pitched the nose down sharply.

While the nose gear made contact with the runway first, followed by the main landing gear, the aircraft bounced once before finally settling.

Despite the dramatic landing, the aircraft taxied off the runway without further incident. However, CS-TJQ will likely undergo thorough inspections, particularly of the landing gear, to ensure no damage was sustained.

At the time of the incident, weather reports at FNC indicated winds of 16 knots gusting up to 29 knots from 350 degrees.

This event highlights the challenges pilots face when operating at airports known for strong crosswinds. It also raises the question: should the pilots have opted for a go-around procedure instead of attempting to land in such challenging conditions?

While the final decision rests with the pilots, who have access to real-time data and are trained to make critical judgments, this incident provides an opportunity for discussion and analysis within the aviation community.

Written by
Dirk Andrei Salcedo

An aviation enthusiast turned creator of the top aviation news portal in the Philippines, Dirk has a deep passion for everything that flies. When he's not keeping his finger on the pulse of the industry, he also volunteers with a major humanitarian organization, impacting people on the ground and in the sky.

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