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Earlier this year I returned to Bristol on flight TOM-6633, and like most landings at Bristol the passengers found the experience physically immersive, attention grabbing, and at least a little exciting - enough for the odd gasp and finally some small amount of scattered cheers and claps.

In layman's terms - the approach was characterised by the plane apparently hitting a very large number of considerable bumps, while wagging the wings up and down/rolling from side to side all the way in (trying to avoid the bumps, maybe?). Finally we got near the tarmac and the plane touched down "decisively", enough to make all aboard thankful for buttock fat.

So what are the particular challenges typically facing a pilot coming into Bristol (UK) airport?

Are these challenges considered fun by those folks in the front seats with the fancy hats and scrambled egg (ie: Pilots)?

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like there were probably strong wind gusts. Look on YouTube for “crosswind landings” and you’ll see lots of aircraft rolling and pitching to deal with the wind. A firm touchdown is preferable in those conditions. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Apr 9 '18 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ Some turbulence you say? i.redditmedia.com/… $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 9 '18 at 12:23
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I have flown into Bristol quite a lot, as I live near there. Most landings are boring, but with good views on a clear day. Most landings are also from the east, on 27 as the prevailing wind is from the west.

On the fairly rare occasions when you come in from the west on 09 it tends to be in unsettled weather, as that correlates with easterly winds. You're also coming in over the Bristol Channel (not renowned for good weather, at least at sea level). Final approach from both directions is over some low but lumpy hills, more noticeable to the west of the airport.

"Earlier this year" written in April suggests late winter/early spring, when we had some interesting weather brought in from the NE. With the exact date it might be possible to narrow things down.

Overall it's nothing special but it's perfectly possible for a few things to come together to make it more interesting.

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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, I looked at the airport on Google Earth. The runway sits at around 600 feet. I then ran the pointer around the airport at roughly a mile away from it and saw all elevations less than the runway. Thus it would appear that the airport sits on the top of a bit of a hill. My experience has been that hilltop runways are naturally more turbulent in high wind than those not on a hilltop. $\endgroup$ – Terry May 9 '18 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Terry that seems right. The nearest noticeably higher point is Dundry hill and that's about 2.5 miles ENE $\endgroup$ – Chris H May 9 '18 at 20:04
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Nothing, really. It's just another airport. The runway has normal dimensions, there is no high terrain around, the approach procedures are completely standard.

Depending on the weather, you will get some turbulence anywhere in the world. That has nothing to do with being in Bristol.

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