Top 10 Viral Aviation Videos of 2014

From unbelievable to impressive, check out some of the most-watched aviation videos this year.

The increasing popularity of digital video cameras has given rise to an unprecedented number of heart-stopping aviation scenes, some of them captured from inside the cockpit and others shot by bystanders on the ground. The top 10 viral aviation videos that ran in Flying's Enews in the last year are well worth rewatching, or viewing for the first time if you missed them. The common theme is that nearly all of them involved harrowing emergencies that ended happily.

10. Near Collision at Barcelona Airport

Talk about a close encounter. In this video, the crew of a UTair Boeing 767-300 preparing to land on Runway 02 at Barcelona-El Prat Airport on Saturday got a big surprise just a few moments before touchdown when an Airbus A340 taxied across the runway, directly intersecting the 767’s landing path.

9. Antares Rocket Explosion Seen from Small Airplane

Footage of the Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket that exploded after its attempted launch could be seen all over the Internet. But this video offered quite a different view of the explosion — from 3,000 feet in a Cessna 177 Cardinal. The pilot captured the amateur video with an iPad Mini, offering a stunning and devastating look at the power of the explosion.

8. Harrier Pilot Lands on a Stool

Two words: Nailed it. This video showed an AV-8B Harrier landing on the USS Bataan without its nose gear. After experiencing a front landing gear malfunction, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney had to perform a blind vertical landing on the ship onto the specially designed support.

7. Flawless Technique in Bonanza Gear Up Landing

Talk about sticking the landing. This video was sent over by a Flying reader of his misfortunate gear-up landing in his Beech Bonanza — which could have been a lot worse if not for the excellent pilot technique he exhibited.

6. Piper Archer Narrowly Misses Sunbather

This is one of those videos you have to see to believe. A Piper Archer nearly landed on top of a sunbather as he relaxed on an island in northern Germany. The pilot got a bit behind the power curve on approach to the airport on the island of Heligoland, missing the unsuspecting sunbather by inches before landing short and crashing through a low perimeter fence, eventually ending up on the runway with damage to his airplane.

5. Deadstick Emergency at Reno Air Races

Definitely one of the most heart-pounding videos from the Reno Air Races. This in-cockpit video captured race pilot Thom Richard impressively handling an engine failure in Precious Metal during a practice session this year. Thumbs up!

4. Airbus A320 Buzzes Budapest

Get a pilot's view of an Airbus A320's low pass through Budapest, arranged by Wizz Air and the Hungarian government as part of a Labor Day airshow celebration. In this video, the airliner can be seen skimming below the peak of a cliff as it buzzes buildings including the nation's parliament, undoubtedly to the surprise of many residents.

3. Wild Boeing 747-8 Takeoff

It's not unusual for pilots to wave their wings after takeoff on special occasions, but a Boeing 747-8 freighter on a delivery flight from Paine Field took the maneuver to a new level when it performed the wave just after the wheels left the pavement. Reactions to the video online were mixed — some questioning the safety of the maneuver and others celebrating the freighter's display. Watch and decide for yourself.

2. Extremely Strong Winds Force Super Cubs into the Air

In this video, extremely strong winds at the USAF Academy Airfield in Colorado Springs, Colorado, caused a dangerous emergency situation for pilots of four tow planes sitting on the tarmac as a 55-knot spring gust front swept across the airport. You've never seen anything like it.

1. More Amazing UK Crosswinds

Strong winter winds in the UK presented some amazing challenges for these airline crews. This video compilation of some of the most harrowing crosswind takeoffs and landings at Birmingham Airport is sure to keep you transfixed for the whole 11 minutes. Think you'd be up to tackle conditions such as these?