Quote: As far as what maximum winds are: in the airline world, each aircraft is rated by it's manufacturer to have a "maximum cross-wind component," and that speed as well as the means to calculate it are included in the aircraft's documentation (and required knowledge to operate them). That speed is different for every type of aircraft, and can depend a lot of the aircraft form factor and weight. In addition, many airlines have company policies that prevent their aircraft from landing or departing in certain wind situations. Many of the aircraft on the ground at JFK were waiting for the winds to die down because their company policies would let them depart.
The manufacturer comes up with Maximum Demonstrated cross-wind component. It is not a limiting factor. Airlines and 135 charter guys have limits usually based on a gust/windshear situation, not crosswind alone. Tailwinds are a limiting factor, somewhere in the 10-15kt range is usually the greatest tailwind you can land with. As previously mentioned at JFK with 50+kt winds and all that fun stuff, you would have to be nucking futs to try and play pilot in that. If the wind equipment took to the air inadvertently, what would happen if you tried to take a 200+ ton piece of metal that is designed to take to the skies down a 125 foot wide piece of runway? look at the video of that airbus in Germany a few years back as your answer... Bent metal, soiled seat covers, and a LONG chat with the chief pilot and our fine friends at the FAA. Give me a pilot lounge, a cup of coffee and a chat with the FAA about the NCAA tourney!