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Braving the Winds of Storm Isha: A Cirrus SR20's Gritty Landing at Birmingham

Updated: May 11

Hello fellow aviators and enthusiasts! Today, we want to share with you an extraordinary moment from the aviation world, set against the backdrop of Storm Isha's wrath in the UK. Yesterday, a video surfaced showing a Cirrus SR20 grappling with the storm's fierce winds while attempting to land at Birmingham Airport. It's not just any video—it's quite a spectacle.

Storm Isha, which hit the UK on Sunday, was no ordinary disturbance. It brought winds nearing 100mph in some areas, causing significant travel disruptions and power outages​​. The Met Office had issued amber and yellow severe weather warnings, forecasting gusts between 50-60mph even inland, and reaching up to 80mph in coastal areas​​.

Here's the video:

Our protagonist, the Cirrus SR20, faced a trial by wind. The METAR report read like a pilot's challenge:

METAR EGBB 211320Z 20016G26KT 130V230 9999 SCT021 12/07 Q1005

This indicates winds averaging 16 knots, gusting to 26 knots, but with a variation range through a whopping 100 degrees (from 130° to 230°). This variability in wind direction made the conditions particularly challenging. The pilot landed on runway 15. The crosswind component fluctuated significantly, peaking at 16 knots gusting to 26 knots when the wind veered to 230 degrees, but averaging at 12 knots gusting to 20 knots from 200 degrees.

Cirrus SR20 Crosswind calculation chart
The crosswind component peaked at 26KT

The maximum demonstrated crosswind component for a Cirrus SR20 is 21 knots. The pilot skillfully managed the landing despite the conditions, although the video shows the aircraft yawing wildly– a testament to the severity of the crosswinds and the pilot's adept handling.

Here's the landing from another angle:

Now, let's turn this discussion into a dialogue. We’re curious to hear about your experiences:

  • When have you faced challenging wind conditions, and how did you handle them?

  • What are your personal limits when it comes to crosswind components?

  • Have you ever had to make a tough call to divert or delay landing due to weather?

Your stories and insights are what make flying such a shared and learning experience.

And speaking of learning, for those eager to deepen their understanding of aviation, I highly recommend checking out QuizAero Bitesize Online Ground School. It's a fantastic resource for student pilots looking to pass the theoretical exams, offering a comprehensive and accessible way to learn. Whether you're a student pilot or an experienced flyer looking to refresh your knowledge, our online ground school is the perfect companion in your aviation journey. Dive into it here.


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Unknown member
Feb 06

Another video of the landing with ATC is avaliable here:


Unknown member
Jan 24

I must be having a brain fart, I can't get my head around how in the description above he could at times have a complete tailwind?

Unknown member
Jan 25
Replying to

Hello Dave - you are right it would have been closer to a complete headwind from 130° as he was landing on runway 15.

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