On September 7, 2021, an RC-135U Combat Sent electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft made a frightening crosswind landing at RAF Mildenhall in England.
The RC-135 had returned from an intriguing mission that saw the spy plane circumnavigate the border of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
The video from the YouTube channel Airshow World shows the RC-135U, making a crabbed approach to Runway 28 at RAF Mildenhall.
It then appears to struggle to ‘kick out’ the crab on landing, with its left wing suddenly dipping in a highly concerning manner.
If the crab is not relieved and the aircraft’s nose is not pointed down the runway on touchdown, at least to a substantial degree, it is very hard on the aircraft, and especially the landing gear, putting major lateral loads on the mains.
The crew subsequently wrangled the RC-135 and straightened it up during its roll-out, but its rudder is still seen kicking around frantically even after it has come to a slow taxi.
While the landing looks very “eventful” for the pilots, the folks in the back must have had a very chilling experience.
If the video does not automatically advance, the landing in question occurs at 17:55.