Crosswind Landing

Crosswind Landing Explained

In the first days of air travel, there were no crosswind landing. Over time, planes began demanding greater takeoff spaces. This meant that there was a must buy and preserve a big field so that you can accommodate the newer aircraft. Due to this, the transition was made to airports with runways that were designated. Nevertheless, it’s only sometimes the wind will be totally aligned with the runway. This is called a “crosswind”.

Aviators use a particular technique to counter these crosswinds on touchdown and takeoff. The aviator will bank then align it and apply opposite rudder to turn the plane from the wind. In effect, the aviator is making the plane fly sideways into the wind as much as the plane is being pushed on by the wind. Consequently, the plane stays aligned with the runway. This technique is called a ‘sideslip’. These aircraft have a tailwheel, that swivels to let directing, or a wheel under the tail and the primary landing gear towards the front. The plane would turn around or ‘groundloop’ if the pilot of among these aircraft didn’t accurately compensate for the wind. The likely consequence in this occasion would be damage to the plane.

Tricycle landing gear is used by many modern aircraft layouts. While the primary landing gear are farther back on the fuselage on these, the steerable wheel or wheels can be found at the nose. Though they are not designed to try this on an extreme or routine basis, this layout will correct the occasional minor piloting mistake, with no threat of a groundloop.

Though aviators could land in a crab, this also jostled the passengers on touch down and was considered sloppy technique. The ground clearance on these engines significantly restricted the quantity of “ or bank wing. Airlines started training crews allow tools consume the rest of the crab in the crosswind landing and to just use limited bank in crosswind landing. Aviators using the total quantity of bank for the crosswind risked hauling number 4 engine on the runway or the number 1. The conventional approach to banking into the wind is required to compensate completely for the winds is the ideal. You can find two clear advantages for this approach. The first is that done correctly, it’ll lead to zero side load of the gear, allowing for a smooth touchdown. The second is this approach really causes a stabilizing effect to the plane. Making the plane fly sidewise creates lots of drag. The wings that are banked may also create more lift. The horizontal part of the aerodynamic lift is what’s causing the plane to fly. The gust will cause a growth of the and again, partly assess the negative effect of the wind gust attempting to shove on the aircraft. This technique is only relevant on particular aircraft, and needs an attentive aviator with superb flying abilities. It’s mostly used in lighting crosswind states.

When the crosswind is more powerful, the common technique would be to land the aircraft partly and somewhat banked in a crab. This hybrid approach have some of the edges of the technique that is conventional, but doesn’t significantly risk pulling an engine or wingtip pod in powerful winds. Additionally it is not much more difficult to run in all crosswind states in relation to the conventional technique. Airplane manufacturer Airbus recommends that this technique is used by aviators of its aircraft.

To properly run this crosswind landing technique, the aviator have great flying abilities and must be intensely conscious of the plane’s place. This technique significantly reduces the side load forces on the equipment and doesn’t shove the passengers to the sides in their seats like the conventional technique, though it is as unstable. Aviators refer for this as “kicking it.

There’s one other technique, but it’s not actually a technique in any respect, and that’s when the pilot enables the aircraft to land with the tools consuming the whole load of the crosswind in the crab. This technique provides a comfortable ride for the passengers and is the most easy to run. On touchdown, the passengers will be suddenly shoved to the sides of these seats.

The approach will also normally fly just a little quicker during gusting and crosswind states. At airports with runways that are extremely long, this can be the additional rate and permissible leads to a plane that is somewhat more receptive. The aviators will regularly keep this additional rate through touchdown, touching down in a level attitude than standard. This may not be a choice if the runway span is restricted.

Crosswind Landing

Crosswind Landings

Methods of Aircraft Crosswind Landings

Most aircraft accidents usually happen during take-off or landing phases of a flight. Wind has a huge effect on the way an aircraft lands and takes off and it can be influenced to some extent. It is always a change especially when the wind changes to a crosswind and they have to do crosswind landings. It ought to be done right and hence every pilot ought to practice hard to get it right using some of the methods below:

Handling crosswind landings can be an uphill task especially for a new pilot who is not well versed with it. There are usually two methods that are used to approach a runway when there is a crosswind. These are the crab method or wing down/slip method.

Crab Method – It seems easier to do but it is difficult to master it. You should approach the runway while flying with your nose into the wind just like always. If you would not be able to do this, then it would be advisable to go to another airport that is favorable. The aircraft will not slip in this method and the passengers will be seated comfortably without leaning sideways. The difficult part of this method is during the final landing touchdown. As the pilot, you need to line the aircraft with the runway and your bank and rudder into the wind. This will compensate for the crosswinds before you touchdown and the speed reduces.

The aircraft will at this juncture change to a wing down situation and your touchdown will have been accomplished. Remember to keep the yoke/stick in the wind all through the taxi and roll out. You should also maintain some power during the touchdown since the wing down method brings about more drag.

Sideslip/Wing Down Method – This method will require the pilot to fly the aircraft while lined to the runway and also banked in the wind as it turns to the final, this will let the aircraft slip consequently increasing the stall speed. There are some pilots who find this easy but in case turbulence is encountered, the yoke or stick control could probably not be enough to defy it. An approach that will be stable could also not be maintained.

If this were to happen, then the plane would be blown away from its center line and this could force it to abort landing altogether. You as the pilot and your passengers could be forced to lean towards the plane’s low side which is not comfortable and the fuel also leans that way. It is risky as it could lead to a problem if the tanks happened to have low fuel levels, fuel could be pushed out and maybe starve the engine. Full tanks can force fuel out through the vents draining it overboard.

The above two methods are the most common methods used in aircraft crosswind landings.

Crosswind Landings

Mountain Flying Safety Information

Mountain Flying Safety

The following information’s are guidelines used by flight instructors and pilots with many years of high wind mountain flying safety experience. These includes

Aircraft Requirement

Weather Requirements

Ceiling Requirements

Enroute Considerations

Ridge and Pass Crossing

Approach and Landing

Emergency Procedures and Survival Equipment

Generally, Pilots demand perfection in these three areas

  1. Knowlege of stalls; what will the airplane do if stalled during a slip or skid
  2. Airspeed; be able to maintain the approach airspeed
  3. Method for landing; learn the technique use on all landing.


Do not attempt mountain flying if the weather is doubtful or if the foot winds are forecast to exceed 30 knots, with down drafts exceeding the climb capability of the aircraft.

Do not fly close to cliffs or rough terrain when the wind approaches 20 knots or more. Dangerous turbulence may be encountered.

Do not attempt a takeoff unless the loaded aircraft is below 10% the FAA certified gross weight, and the CG is within limits.

Do not try a mountain flight unless the ceilings are at least 2000 feet above the highest terrain and visibility is at least 15 miles.

Do not fail to give attention to the importance of fuel and emergency equipment. However it is important to keep the aircraft light, but don’t skimp on these items.

Do not let anyone pressure you into initiating the flight if you are unclear and not comfortable about the aircraft performance and weather condition.

Do not operate low-performance aircraft into small mountain strips, use ‘’the sufficient runway length’ rules of thumb if in doubt of your takeoff.


Do check the complete weather report and pilot briefing for your proposed route.

Do plan the quantity of fuel load to arrive at the destination with an extra hours fuel reserve to counter unexpected winds

Do get yourself acquainted with the performance and altitude of your airplane. This includes takeoff distance, landing distance and rate of climb under different density altitude conditions.

Do consult the sectional chart to plan the definite altitude to be flown on each segment of the flight.

Do always file a flight plan, keep a flight log and make position reports at every opportunity. In a case of an eventuality, this allows the search crew to narrow down the search area.

Do maintain speed by lowering the nose of the airplane. Unless the airplane is over a tall stand of trees, the downdraft will not extend to the ground

Do have a suitable emergency kit to include a supply of water, signal mirror, and whistle as appropriate mountain flying safety

Do ask for advice and assistance from FBO, FAA personnel, local mountain qualified flight instructors and pilots. They will be willing to help.

Consult POH (pilot’s operational book) takeoff or landing at mountain strips, climb and ceiling capabilities of the aircraft being flown. if the conditions are unfavorable then delay the operation.

Do make a stabilized approach for landings.

Mountain Flying Safety

Mountain Flying Safety