How confident are you in crosswind landing?

Pro Member Captain
nottobe Captain

I find my performance in landing in srtong wind or crosswind pretty unsteady. according to the landing lesson, you can do wing low or crabbing, but in reality (I mean the reality in the sim, if I can call it reality 🙂 ), the wind more than often blows gustily, there is no way to stabilize with either one of the methods. I ususally keep swerving and correcting until touch down. How do you guys do windy day landing?

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Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Making SMALL corrections I think is the key. I set the speed right down to Vref in jets or the lowest maneuvering speed for GA aircraft, and then start my approach from about 10 miles out. You'll have plenty of time to correct by then. If you're lined up straight, watch which direction you keep getting bumped towards, then make minor corrections to your heading until you're very SLOWLY heading back towards centerline. It can be a pretty serious change if the crosswind is big enough, and somewhat nerve-racking your first few times! No matter what size bird it is, if you start out far enough, and keep your speed at the lowest possible, you'll definitly have more than enough time to make all the minor corrections is the key. Remember, the slower you are, the more it will feel like things are happening in slow motion 😉 .

Meanwhile, all this advice and i'm still not that great at landing the last 500 feet in crosswinds 😂 ! I'll usually still make it centerline after straightening out, but those "small" and "slow" movements usually get a bit more dramatic the closer in I get 😉!

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

I usually turn into the wind and push the rudder a little the other way. This makes me "sideslip" a little (just a little) down to the runway. Doesn't always work, but usually it's fine.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

I'd be careful about Grunge's "minimum speed" if the wind is gusty. Normal approach in small planes is at 1.3 times the stalling speed (Vso). If the gusts are greater than 0.15 Vso then I'd fly the approach at 1.4 or 1.5 or even faster to avoid stalling - or what some call: microbursts - that knock the aircraft out of the sky.

Respectfully, Pete

Don Wood Guest

Winds are gusty and variable in the real world too so constant small corrections are usually necessary. I do not favor slipping into a crosswind unless you also have excess altitude to lose quickly. It adds an unnecessary level of complexity to the landing.

My preferred method is to use a heading correction that keeps the aircraft moving toward the centerline. Just before the landing flair, I use rudder to align the aircraft with the centerline and then use down aileron on the upwind side to prevent drift.

Remember to continue aileron control even after landing to avoid a wind-caused tip over. You also need to hold elevator control to avoid upset once you have turned off the runway and have the wind at your nose or tail. Obviously, these control impacts are much less or non-existant with heavier aircraft but with light aircraft such as I fly, they are quite important.

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