Crosswind landings

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by WGregB, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. WGregB

    WGregB Filing Flight Plan

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    My instructor scheduled today for landing practice. We ended up having cross winds of 12 to 14 knots roughly and gusts added another 3 to 5 on top of that. So that was a little more challenging than I expected but I still walked away with a smile on my face. lol
     
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  2. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    When I was a PP I learned to survive a crosswind landing. I did not *master* a crosswind landing until I was an active CFI.
     
  3. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Believe in the methods, make sure you continue to apply them after landing. Don't forget about crosswind control on take off. I was timid with crosswind inputs at first, made for some interesting landings and take offs. Now I'm a full believer, no big deal. Oh, and make sure you understand the recommended speeds for your particular airplane, I like to read the info in the POH if it is there. There are a lot of old wives tales out there that will make life more difficult for you if you listen to them.
     
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  4. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The winds may have been 14G19, but I suspect your crosswind component was not greater than 10-12 including the gusts.
     
  5. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Same, flying ever day as a CFI is where I finally honed my flying/radio skills. Before that, I was a mess!
     
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  6. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I didn't actually learn how to land properly until I had my commercial and bought a tailwheel airplane. Really helped once I became a CFI later.
     
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  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.
     
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  8. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    It's good to get some nasty xwind training so you won't be flummoxed as a private pilot coping with crosswinds after a long trip. The best way to build confidence and competence is experience.
     
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  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    One of the more challenging flights I had was with another Aggie buddy who was also a pilot.

    The night landing had one of the worst crosswind I have experienced ever. And it took all my skill to get it to a stop before I over ran the far edge of the pavement.

    After the aircraft came to a halt, I took a deep breath, and exhaled. Made the comment to my buddy, "Holy crap that runway was short!!"

    He looked out both windows and responded, "Yeah, but look how wide it is!"
     
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  10. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can't like this enough.

    When I first got my private, I would fret over the winds for days before even a short-ish XC. Planning a trip to the beach.... clear and a million forecast.... but 10 knot direct crosswinds?? Um.... maybe I'll go another day.....

    Took several flights where winds were stronger than forecast at the destination to help me realize I had the ability to land in a crosswind. And if I just remembered what I learned from some really good CFIs, I would be just fine. And if it looked bad and I was running out of rudder authority... hey... go-the-heck-around... lol.

    I started to seek out slightly higher winds and built confidence. Helped to have bought a plane and really got to understand how that particular aircraft behaved in a crosswind takeoff/landing....

    Now I have a healthy respect for what the wind will do the airplane taking off and landing (and it the pattern.... fun having the nose starting to point toward the runway on base!)... but I also have confidence in my ability to land the airplane in a crosswind. Again, it has to be said again, or GO AROUND if it doesn't look good.
     
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  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I learned to fly in Colorado. 20G33 was good student solo weather, but we always hand 10+ miles visibility.
    My wife learned to fly at IAD. Winds were usually light, but 3 miles in haze was standard summer weather.

    For a long time if it was hazy, she flew. If it was windy, I flew.
     
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  12. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is neat that she learned at IAD. I learned at HEF which is, as you know, south of IAD. HEF can get gusty with winds that don't quite match ATIS.... always on toes.
     
  13. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    I love that!

    interestingly enough, a navion guy like yourself, who’s a dear friend and helped me get my ticket told me that once i got my license... “don't you dare just go fly on perfect calm unlimited visibility days, you wont gain the skill you will need when you travel. “.

    that was a dozen years ago - we eat hangar breakfast regularly and fly together often still. though i goota leave way ahead! Lol
     
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  14. WGregB

    WGregB Filing Flight Plan

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    Winds were from 280° for a 200°runway.
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was already in a flying club there (Armel Aviation) so it was logical she fly there as well. We lived right off Lawyer's Road in "Oak Hill" so it was only minutes to IAD.
     
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  16. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I do a lot of practice flying outside of my XCs. My favorite days are x-winds of 10-14 knots. I seek them out and practice in them regularly. A Navion pilot paid me a nice compliment one gusty day when he and I were the only ones flying.
     
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  17. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Reminds me of “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

    Each of the 3 elements of a crosswind landing, are simple in isolation...

    1) Flaring and touchdown by increasing pitch so as to land at an appropriate speed is a skill a pilot should already have when doing crosswind landings.

    2) Keeping the nose aligned with the runway using the rudder is not hard by itself.

    3) Similarly, keeping the plane laterally on the centerline with aileron is pretty straightforward.

    It’s having to do all three simultaneously with varying winds that things get complicated. Plus, the amount of control movement to achieve the desired result increases as the plane slows down. It’s a lot like juggling - one ball is trivially simple, two a little harder, and so on every time you add a new ball into the mix. But rest assured, with practice it all becomes quite natural and automatic.
     
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  18. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    One thing that really helped in my plane was VGs as the ailerons stay so crisp well under flying speed... it seems like ya barely are putting aileron in... I really like that crispness of the controls super slow
     
  19. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    I learned to fake crosswind landings well enough to pass my PPL flight test, but didn't really grok them until a few months later.

    I abandoned the whole idea of setting up a slip on short final and holding it. It's pointless, because the winds at 100-200 ft AGL are never the same as the winds at 5 ft AGL, so I just hold a crab until over the fence (when I start rounding out into ground effect), then I use the ailerons as my "move side-to-side" control and the rudder as my "make the nose point down the runway" control. All the mystery of a crosswind landing evaportated, and it became a simple/intuitive maneuver.
     
  20. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Shortly after I got my CPL I checked out in a Cessna 180. Coming back after a trip, the wind on the ground had the sock sticking straight out, about 70° to the runway. There was no tower or FSS or AWOS. I made the approach and touched down on the upwind wheel, doing a wheel landing to keep the speed up and reduce the effective relative wind angle, and ran out of aileron and rudder. I took off and went around and landed on the grass between crop patches on an plot of ground next to the airport, operated by some experimental crop folks. Didn't roll very far at all. Took lots of power to taxi across the runway and over to the hangar.

    After I became an instructor, doing taildragger checkouts, crosswinds in the Citabria sharpened my skills.
     
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  21. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I graduated five wheelchair pilots...one got his commercial. Using a hand control worked for them. I had them make the initial runway contact on the upwind wheel only, trundling along on the upwind tire until the correction aileron lost its eff.ect.
     
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  22. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry if I missed it, but what was the actual xwind component?
     
  23. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pretty much a direct crosswind.
     
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  24. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    Isolating the steps is the way my instructor taught as well. It all came together when he said, "Bank into the wind first; then apply rudder to align with runway." So simple, but it got me past a mental block.
     
  25. WGregB

    WGregB Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the feedback. She is having me manage the lineup by using both the rudder and ailerons. And yes it is a challenge. My hand and foot coordination is not there yet. It's not fully there yet for my takeoff roll. lol But I'm 4 hours into my training and she is very happy with the progress.

    It's not like I want to jump in the plane and try it again right now but I'm not afraid to do that and I know it will help in the long run.
     
  26. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No coordination really needed, when I want to go from a crab to side slip, I just kick the rudder to align the airplane axis parallel to the runway centerline, then use the aileron to move the airplane so that the centerline of the airplane is on the centerline of the runway. Just move the airplane side to side with the stick, don't let the nose move from parallel with the runway with the rudder. I don't try to think "this much rudder for this much aileron" it doesn't matter, just don't let the airplane turn sideways to the runway with the rudder. And don't let the airplane move from the centerline with the aileron. If you change one, then you will have to change the other, but don't over think it. As you slow down, the controls become less effective, so you'll have to adjust, again, don't overthink it, just pay attention. Keep the aileron in when you land, land on one wheel if you need to, keep flying control in as you slow on the ground. Usually it's constantly changing, so you need keep adjusting. Piece of cake.
     
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like you stopped flying the theory and started flying the airplane. What I think many miss is that upwind wheel first is not the goal of a good crosswind landing. It is the result of a good crosswind landing.
     
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  28. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ...he says, as he then goes on to explain all the coordination required! :rolleyes:
     
  29. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is a good summary of what happened when my crosswind landings started getting.... good is not the work... let's go with not terrible. Overthinking things and trying to remember the theory and land with the upwind wheel first and am I slipping or crabbing and what happens when the crosswind lessens or god forbit shifts to the other direction.....

    Nah. Ailerons (the yoke thingy) makes you go side-to-side. The rudder (the foot thingys) make the nose of the airplane point left right or straight.

    Funny once you sort of 'get it' and stop worrying about the theory of it all, crosswind landings become fun. Especially since you can just go around if it doesn't look good (go-arounds can be fun, too!).

    But to 'get it' takes practice.
     
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  30. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That, and knowing you have an alternate to bug out to takes most of the pressure off.
     
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  31. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's the thing. The (accurate) theory of wing low is there to help us understand the phenomenon. But a lot of pilots, especially at the beginning, put blinders on and fly the theory. Reported winds from the right, so they crank in the right aileron, blind to what the airplane is actually doing. I've seen pilots do their best to force one wheel onto the ground based on windsock and reported wind when the crosswind was gone just above the runway. IOW, one wheel down with no crosswind! You can see the same thing with ground reference maneuvers. Pilots who crab and bank based on what they think the wind is doing rather than visualizing a circle and flying around it.

    The funny part is that where you really do have to turn fully into the crosswind based on anticipation - during rollout - is the part many pilots forget.
     
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  32. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lol, bbbbbut isn't a sideslip uncoordinated? My point is that we talk about coordinated control inputs. We are taught that for sideslips you need to put in aileron and counteract the turning tendency with rudder, make sure for each control input you coordinate with the other control, blah, blah, blah. It's all true, but a student reading or hearing this thinks that he should be concentrating on moving those controls at the same time, that becomes the focus, moving the controls. The real focus needs to be the runway. The controls don't need to move together. Align the nose with the rudder, move the plane onto the runway centerline with the ailerons. Fix one, then fix the other. Eventually as you get more comfortable, you are able to move the controls at the same time.

    When I was learning to land I was close to being really good at it, but I hit a plateau, I kept dropping it in. My instructor was coaching me, I'd be in the flare, a foot above the runway, he'd say, "ok, now hold it there, hold it there." Then boom, it would drop in. This happened through about 10 landings, same thing, "hold it there" boom. Finally, we were both aggravated, after the 10th landing, he said to me, " why do you keep doing that, Keep The Nose Up". Then it dawned on me, every time he told me "hold it there", I froze the elevator where it was, I held it there. He wanted me to hold the nose there, big difference. Next landing after that revelation was pretty much a greaser. Ideas, concepts, words matter.
     
  33. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course. The “coordination” I was responding to had nothing to do with aerodynamic coordination. I was responding to the OP’s comment on “hand and foot coordination”, which is something completely different.
     
  34. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    I canceled a volunteer flight a couple of days ago. Destination winds were forecast 22G30 at 50° to the runway, and when I checked the METARs from home, that's exactly what they turned out to be. That's a crosswind component of 17-23 kt.

    There's a quote attributed to Frank Borman, "A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill."
     
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  35. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Doing that intentionally can be a fun and worthwhile exercise.



    Also, doing wheel landings in my Citabria, I found the spring gear had less of a tendency to bounce me back in the air if I rolled one wheel on first. I don’t know if it’s being right-handed, or that as a CFI I was used to looking right on landing, but rolling the right wheel on slightly first always seemed more natural to me.
     
  36. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good call. My mental alert signal is when I’m thinking, “You know, I could probably handle that”.
     
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  37. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good call, what do you do about forecast turbulence on those flights? ( sorry for the thread drift)
     
  38. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I've noticed the same in my Citabria. I almost prefer a crosswind, so I can feel for the runway with the upwind wheel.
     
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  39. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Yup. Did that for years. If both mains touch at the same time but just a little too firmly, the only possible reaction is the airplane bouncing up. When one wheel touches a little firmly, the airplane tends more to roll level and put the other wheel down.

    It works even on non-crosswind landings. You just bank a little immediately before touchdown.
     
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  40. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    When I flew King Air for the department store chain "Bon Marche," my boss Col. Bill Hicks told me in no uncertain term....."NEVER give my people a bad ride!"

    Bill flew in three wars. B17R in WW2, Skyraiders in Korea, and "Puff" the magic dragon in Viet Nam.

    We cancelled several flights and usually had a grand time spending another night on the road.
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