Pilot's tip of the week

Taming Crosswind Landings


Subscriber question:

"Can you review the proper technique for making good crosswind landings?"
- Jeff D.


flying_by_trim.png“The key is to practice, practice, practice.

Start with a light crosswind and move up as you become more familiar with the necessary control inputs. Some basic techniques are as follows:

First, be certain that you know where the wind is coming from relative to the aircraft on final.

Second, keep the path of the airplane aligned with the runway on final, using either a crab or sideslip or a combination of the two.

Third, control airspeed because excess airspeed can extend the time you have to deal with the crosswind.

Fourth, once in the flare, be sure to keep the upwind wing down enough to prevent sideways drift in the flare while at the same time keeping the aircraft aligned with the runway by using opposite rudder.

Flaps can and should be used during most approaches since they tend to have a stabilizing effect on the airplane. The degree to which flaps should be extended will vary with the airplane’s handling characteristics, as well as wind velocity.

If the wind is shifting or variable, be sure to keep track of where the wind is located on the approach. Be especially careful of landing with a quartering tailwind. This can be hazardous since control effectiveness will be diminished as the airplane decelerates, due to the loss of relative wind.”

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