Here's a collection of responses directly from line pilots concerning just how they handle a crosswind landing in the Airbus. Please feel free to add your own rendition. Just jot it down in an Email and send it my way. I'll post it anonymously to share with the group ...

This material is definitely UNOFFICIAL in nature!



To wet your appetite, here's a couple of wild videos showing some wicked Airbus landings:





We must remember that the Airbus Flight Control system is based on "rate inputs". The wing will always look at the last bank angle and will try to return to that point, you may not see the input by the flight controls, but it is being provided.

So, if you are rocking down on final due to gusty winds, or for that reason on the final portion of the flare. Should you apply correction in the opposite direction of where the wing is coming up, because of the gust, then you are adding more input to the Flight Controls computer's, reacting to bring the wing to the last known position with a bigger input increment (you have just Augmented that input), which will then force you to react in the opposite direction with more sidestick deflection. Hence, the feeling that you are running out of control deflections in the sidestick, you are just inducing a P-CIO (Pilot-Computer Induced Oscillations).

If you were to have a direct right crosswind of 29 knots, fly the aircraft, don't mind the gust (unless it is hurricane David), around 50 feet, start kicking your left rudder (and power as necessary), and as the left wing tries to come up (due to the Aerodynamics of the rudder inputs attempting to bring the right wing up), put the necessary right joystick (squirts) input and let go, squirt and let go, as necessary to keep the nose of the aircraft tracking down the centerline while adding rudder as necessary, then once the aircraft is tracking where you want him to, relax the bank inputs on the joystick, just work with the pitch for the flare and round out.

Touch down with the right main gear, right spoilers deflect, fly the left wing down nice and easy, while relaxing ruder input and squirting the bank inputs as needed... It is exhilarating and a great aircraft

Do not hold the side stick input, just let it go... Give it the bank squirts inputs required to work the gust with just minor inputs to keep the wing down as you increase rudder for that amount of gust. The wing, will stay down, because the system recognizes that point to be the new wings level position requested by you... In this manner, you can maintain right wing down, for as much as it is needed to keep the nose tracking on centerline. Of course, you can land in a 45 knot crosswind with this aircraft, should you need to, but I don't know how much bank would require to scrape a wingtip with the struts compressed and vice versa.

There is a confidence builder exercise I use when fellow pilots have doubts on what I just mentioned. With flaps 3, gear down, out by the marker or before while on the ILS GS Path, "VFR". The ECAM page will be on the brakes and gear page, below on the bottom of that page, it shows flight spoilers and ground spoilers deflection, because that is the page you will look for the ground spoiler's and the PNF call outs of "Spoilers" and "Two Reverser's" etc.

Disconnect the autopilot and start a very slow rudder deflection (it will not be felt in the back, just don't be abrupt), while keeping the wings level with just small sidestick bank inputs, as required to keep the wings level, keep increasing rudder input slowly, and watch the flight spoilers on the opposite side of rudder input (i.e. right rudder, left wing), watch them come up and stay there, even when you are not providing left sidestick inputs. The computers are now telling the wing to stay wings level, but the rudder deflection is causing the flight spoilers to come up for that purpose.

You are doing this at approach speed, just like you would in the flare to keep the nose tracking down the centerline, so there are no side loads exceedances to the airframe or tail while performing this mild maneuver, this is exactly the same as de-crabbing for landing, but you can see the results way out there...Just don't be abrupt with the rudders, do it gentle, avoid any PIO's.

Initially, it will be a conscious effort, but with a few good crosswinds, you will automatically perform the maneuver in the worst case of crosswinds. The aircraft is an excellent crosswind lander, it is great design, and I do not, by any means intend to brag about this, just wish you confidence in the system.

This is something that should be shown to any new pilot, by the training department, in the simulator, or during the IOE. I see many guys out there still having difficulty, because they do not understand what the Flight Control Computers are inputting to the flight control surfaces... "Rated Inputs".

I've always been a fan of introducing a slip on short final, about 100 ft or so. It didn't work as well on the bus, as evidenced by more touchdowns with the stick at the aft stop than I care to admit to. This is probably due to a couple of factors. First, the approach speeds on the bus are closer to 1.3 Vso than I used on other airplanes and second, the timing and rate of thrust changes by the auto thrust usually seems like too little too late when it's bumping and blowing. 

Method #1:
CONF 3 when crosswind exceeds 10 kts.
Approach speed:
Vls+10 on PERF page when crosswind exceeds 10 kts.
Vls+15 on PERF page when crosswind exceed 20 kts and GW >130,000#.
Don't flare too high, 15-20 ft. Reduce thrust to idle just prior to flare if light, during flare if heavy, later if you get that sinking feeling. Simultaneously remove crab, lower the upwind wing a bit, and flare. If that doesn't work, see method #2.
Method #2:
Using your peripheral vision, react to body movements, gasps, groans, and shouts from the other side of the cockpit, and always remember that it's better to be lucky than good. 

I do not find crosswinds to be anymore challenging in this airplane than any other. You have to understand that you cannot "slip" this airplane because your are commanding a ROLL RATE with the Side Stick Controller, not a BANK ANGLE. Here is a suggestion: Allow the airplane to do an Auto Land in a crosswind when it is convenient, and VFR. You will be shocked at the timing of when the airplane leaves the CRAB and applies rudder to align the nose parallel with the runway. You think it just isn't going to do it, and at the very last second, it slides it in perfectly. I would guess in the last 20 feet or less. My technique is just the same as any airplane I've ever flown. C-150 to B-767. Crab it down to the flare, apply enough rudder to straighten the nose, drop the up-wind wing to prevent drift, land on the up-wind main first. The Airbus will only use 1/2 Speed brake upon the 1st main gear touchdown, then full Speed brake after the 2nd gear is down. This is a characteristic, unlike Boeing or Douglas, that will aid you to make a smooth landing in a crosswind, rather than slamming the 2nd main on the ground after full deployment of the Speed brakes that occurs on other aircraft. 5-Year Airbus Captain.

As we know the ailerons remain in "Roll Rate" all the way to touchdown, so, On final with a crab into the wind, maintain the crab until you are crossing the threshold and about ready to begin the flare (Only about a 2-3 degree change in pitch attitude on a "good day" - no crosswind - just enough to see the sight picture change enough to tell that you have checked your rate of descent. - When it's windy, you definitely don't want to get the nose up into the air on landing and become a "kite", as with any airplane in a good crosswind you probably want to be a little flatter on touchdown, than if there was no wind. As you begin to take the crab out with opposite rudder, then you have to input lateral sidestick to keep the aircraft from sliding across the centerline. Keep the nose pointed down the center of the runway using the rudders and use the sidestick in the following way. As I go through 100 to 50 feet I glance at my airspeed to see what the "Speed Trend Arrow" is indicating. If my speed is decaying - I'm already on the back side of the power curve - the last thing I am going to do is saw off the power at 50'. It will be smooth and gradual but making sure that I don't touchdown with any power ON at all - during any landing you don't want to hear the engines increasing while you are trying to touchdown because the Autothrust is trying to maintain your Vapp and you had decayed below that to a point it is trying to increase airspeed to achieve your original Vapp. The actual crosswind maneuver is to break you descent and as the aircraft descends through 50' and the "Flare" mode is induced you will have to increase slight aft sidestick pressure to "maintain" that sight picture until touchdown - all while "Bumping the sidestick laterally" to input a little upwind aileron to keep the aircraft from drifting across the centerline and enough in stronger winds to touchdown with the upwind mains first. Not enough? Bump it some more - but DON'T put lateral input in and HOLD it - because you are only increasing the roll rate the whole time and could result in a firm touchdown or >16 degrees of bank angle could result in a wingtip or engine pylon. I always use the term "Bump and back to center, bump and back to center". The sight picture during every landing as you descend through 50' (Flare Mode) and automatic nose down trim can be compared to landing a Boeing, Douglas, or a Cub in that as speed decays you have to increase control surface displacement in order to "Maintain" the attitude ("sight picture" at touchdown: 6 - 7.5 degrees on the 319/320). Oh yeah - What's a Boeing? The concern that I have on every landing especially in windy, gusty conditions is that with sidestick control on the Airbus is; you don't see input - you only see reaction. Bottom line - It's still an airplane, don't give up on it and fly it all the way to the gate!

I haven't had too much trouble with X-wind landings, with the understanding that they are frequently more firmly "planted" on the runway than some of my other landings! First of all, with a strong x-wind, unless I'm going into a relatively short (for the weight, conditions, etc.) runway where performance is a primary factor, I usually go into the PERF Page (Approach phase) and add about 3 knots to the final approach speed. (Yea, I know. This is totally unapproved and grounds for a reprimand, but it does help, so I do it anyway.) I fly down final using a crab and without trying to balance the crab with a side-slip. Somewhere between 50 and a 100 feet above the ground, depending on the degree of crab, I slowly bring the nose to the centerline with the rudder, holding only absolute minimum aileron stick pressure into the wind, since roll response is exaggerated by the spoiler activation.) In any strong wind, regardless of direction, I usually opt for a CONF 3 landing, performance (with an adequate cushion!) permitting. And if the winds are quite gusty, I may well turn off the autothrottles around 500 feet, assuming a stable approach, (don't forget to "match before mashing") and land with manual throttles, thus avoiding those darn things coming up to almost max power at just the wrong moment! (Again, my hands should be slapped!) The autothrottles are still my least favorite of the Airbus automated systems!

In my opinion, the easiest way to land this plane, including in a crosswind, is to close the throttles at the 30 ft call, wait, wait some more, then raise the nose around 1-2 degrees, simultaneously lowering the upwind wing slightly and applying opposite rudder (as in any airplane) to align the nose straight down the runway, and just as soon as the nose reaches that 1-2 degree point start relaxing back pressure, maybe even push slightly if need be, and roll it on. Works beautifully with essentially the same flare point for all models of the AB, including 3 degree flap landings. What you are simulating is how the autoland lands the airplane, and it does a very good job at it. The advantage to this technique is that you will never get a "Retard" call, thus will not have power on as you float down the runway, and you will always put it down in the touchdown zone as what you are doing is really coming right down the glideslope, breaking the rate of descent at about 10 ft, and rolling the airplane onto the runway with a slight pushover. As to the crosswind, since you are in the actual flare mode for a very short period of time, drift is nil and all you have to really do is kick the nose over in alignment with the centerline of the runway with very little upwind down wing. You may need to be a little aggressive with the rudder pressure here, though, because you don't have a lot of time left before touchdown if you are in a really high crosswind. Really works great, and after 3 1/2 years on the AB I'm actually looking forward to the landings for a change. The technique was shown to me rather recently by a Check Airman who told me that he had been working on it for several years to get it right. When you start doing it, you will swear that you are about to drive it into the pavement before you start to flare, but be brave, press on, and remember to release the back pressure just before you touch. On a final note, if it's a gusty wind condition, go Flaps 3 and Vls + 10 (windshear option, up to +15) and give yourself some maneuverability. This airplane can run out of controllability in gusty, turbulent, windy conditions, and you'll swear that the sidestick fly-by-wire is just not up to the job, especially with full flaps. My opinion is that this airplane simply likes to fly with it's high lift wing, and thus tends to rock and roll in these conditions making it simply sluggish in it's response even to full sidestick deflection, which, when it finally does respond, then requires full deflection in the opposite direction! Flaps 3 with an approach speed additive really helps.

Let the a/c fly in the crab until the 50' call, "laws" have changed and you can straighten out the nose with the rudder and begin to use the ailerons, roll or no roll. Normal instincts will dictate how much and how long you use the ailerons. Use them as necessary, do not let the plane slide off centerline by not using ailerons. Works for me on the 319, 320, 321 and 330. 1400+ on the 320 series and 700+ on the big guy.

My first IOE crosswind landing in the BUS was a disaster. I was fixated on trying to take the crab out during the flare. As a result I forgot to check the descent rate resulting in a FIRM landing. I spent five years flying T-38's in the Air Force. The technique in the T-38 is to simply land in the crab then make directional corrections with the rudder on you rollout. It works on the BUS, and I've had no problems with x-wind landings since that first embarrassment.

I had a hair raising experience going into ROC on one of my first AB trips. Winds gusting 50 kts straight down 28, but 22 was longer. I still had the MD-80 mentality ... Went for the longer runway ...Added extra speed, didn't pull the power off, and "stirred the pot" with the stick instead of bumping it and letting go. Didn't know if the engine, wingtip, or nose was going to hit first. My F/O was white as a ghost, and I couldn't stop shaking for the next half hour. In retrospect, I should have gone around! Now I still use the basics with a slight modification ... Wing into the wind to hold it laterally, although I bump the stick vs. move and hold it. Keep the nose pointing straight with the rudder. And chop that damn power as I flare! I very seldom increase Vref either, otherwise it floats. Unlike most, I trust the GS Mini.

1) You can't fly this thing from the marker to the runway cross controlled like a normal airplane if that's your style. So quit trying. 
2) Keep an eye on your managed speed pink triangle. Vls+5 knots leaves you very little energy to mess around with at the runway. Vls+8 or 10 seems to be more comfortable.
3) Stay in a crab right up to the runway. Then at the last second, carefully kick out the crab and lower the upwind wing to keep it going straight. (Cross-control seems to work at this point) Many people don't seem to want to straighten out the crab and touchdown in a crab. (Which I feel is not very good for the airplane and it's tires)
4) In gusty crosswinds remember to breath from 500 AGL to touchdown !

I have flown the Airbus since October '99 (Capt) and have listened to all this cross wind landing stuff through those years. I sat through and have been "recurrent" trained all this time and simulated. I find that if we never knew anything about alternate law, flare mode, direct law and all the other info, we would never know this was not an airplane like any other. I have never had a crosswind landing problem or even noticed the bus being different. It is an airplane and a nice flying one at that. I think pilots who have difficulty landing the Airbus in a crosswind would have difficulty in any airplane in a crosswind.

It is a real airplane! In a crosswind, you put the wing down and straighten it out with the rudder just like it should be done in ALL airplanes! I can't believe how many airline pilots land an airplane crooked in a crosswind. Land with the nose straight. The only way to do that is cross control like you should have learned in primary instruction.

It seems that the better your stick and rudder skills are the more trouble you have landing the AB in a crosswind. Over the years I've spoken to many pilots whose abilities are as good as it gets and without exception they all agree on one thing. "The damned thing can't be trusted." After two tours on this thing I've come to the following conclusions. First if you can't beat it learn from it. By that I mean watch how it handles a crosswind while performing an auto-land. After all that's how the French ***** engineers that designed this thing sold it at its certification. That being said the aircraft will maintain a crab until rounding out for the flare. It then is fairly aggressive with rudder to bring the nose around and will provide a slight aileron input (bump don't hold) to slightly lower the wing.The problem with this whole scenario is that if you are hand flying, due to the aggressive auto-thrust you find yourself paired with a very poor student who is causing you more hindrance than help. Therefore while flying a visual approach in a strong X-wind I will disconnect the autopilot early to allow myself a little time to get the fell of things along with staying just a hair high on the glide slope to keep the auto-thrust changes to a minimum. Finally if its really gusty and runway length is not a factor I've had better luck with flaps 3 and increasing V-ref by a few knots but never more than +5. Also due to the way your feet sit on the pedals while performing this unnatural maneuver I strongly recommend using auto-brakes (don't be afraid of medium) since without them you will probably apply brakes to one side only, creating even more drama on the rollout. Thanks for putting this out to the troops and can't wait to see some of the techniques used by this very talented group of aviators.

I've been on the 'bus a little over a year and 1/2 now. I never did like the "recommended technique" of waiting until the flare to correct for crosswinds. They're afraid that you'll take the sidestick and hold constant pressure on it correcting thus keeping some level of spoilers deployed. This is what I've done from day one and it seems to work fine. About 500' AGL I straighten the aircraft out with the rudder and just tap the sidestick a couple of times to get the right amount of wing low established. The key is to make sure you allow the sidestick to return to the neutral position and the aircraft should then stay where you left if or just require minor "taps" to adjust for varying winds. During my initial simulators I request the max crosswinds for landing and tried this technique for the first time. The check captain said that he'd never seen anyone do that before but it worked with no problem.

I haven't had problems with crosswind landings ... yet! I do it the way it was taught in initial with full flaps. Flaps 3 doesn't seem to help enough to make it worth the increase in speed and ground roll.

Ladies and Gentleman ... Forget its a damn airbus and fly it like an airplane. Rudders work wonders in a strong x wind ... What a concept ... Works good ...