TAP Airbus A321neo lands nose first as pilot battles wild Madeira winds: video

TAP Air Portugal_Airbus A321-251NX
Adam Moreira (AEMoreira042281) / Creative Commons

A pilot for the Portuguese airline TAP Air Portugal has been captured battling with the infamous swirling Madeira winds while trying to land at Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (FNC). 

Madeira is famous for its strong winds, which can challenge even the most experienced pilots during their final approach. This makes it an ideal location for videographers interested in capturing thrilling footage. At the meteorological station in Madeira Airport, the average wind speed is 22.76 knots (42.1 kilometers per hour).

On March 26, 2024, a TAP Airbus A321neo was carrying out a repositioning flight from Porto Santo Airport (PXO), so as well as managing testing weather conditions the pilots were also contending with a much lighter aircraft than usual due to no passengers being onboard.  

In the one-minute and 33-second clip videoed by Madeira Airport Spotting, the Airbus A321neo initially appears steady on its approach, but a small wobble escalates into something more.  

Around 40 seconds into the video, the wind picks up, which can clearly be heard on the camera’s microphone, causing the narrowbody jet to begin to sway from side to side.  

As the A321neo grows more challenging to control against the winds, the aircraft’s nose begins to tip downwards. 

At the point of almost landing, the aft end of the aircraft rises up, leading to the A321neo landing with its nose first.  

During a few more concerning seconds, the aircraft bounces from right to left before the pilot eventually brings the situation under control. 

After the incident became public, some argued that the pilots should have initiated a go-around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!