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Approach and landing with some wind acting perpendicular to the runway.


To teach techniques necessary for a landing when the wind is not aligned with the runway.


·         Clear the area

·         Choose forced landing area (should be runway)

·         Configure aircraft for normal approach and begin descent as normal

·         Select outside references (e.g. runway numbers)

·         Clear area, then turn to final (≤30° bank)

·         On final: remaining flaps (C172RG: 30º) when runway is assured, CCGUMPS check

·         Select aim point (e.g. before runway numbers)

·         Sideslip (maintain centerline): Lower upwind wing to correct for drift while simultaneously applying opposite rudder to maintain longitudinal axis with runway centerline

·         Adjust pitch and power to maintain normal approach speed and descent angle (C172RG: 65 KIAS)

·         Trim to relieve control pressures

·         Make sure feet are not on brakes

·         10-20’ off ground: reduce throttle to idle

·         Gradually apply back pressure to pitch for landing attitude, attempting to fly just above runway (fly in ground effect) straight-and-level until passing aim point, then continue adjusting pitch for climb attitude just above horizon

·         Maintain crosswind control inputs to the surface, as airspeed decreases, greater crosswind control inputs are required

·         Touchdown on upwind main gear first, just above stalling speed

·         Maintain pitch attitude for aerodynamic braking

·         Gradually relax back pressure to lower nose wheel while applying maximum aileron in upwind direction

·         Gentle braking as required

·         Crosswind control inputs for taxi


Discuss maximum demonstrated crosswind component. Discuss taxi wind correction (turn into for headwinds, dive away from tailwinds). Discuss turbulent air approaches (i.e. consider a no-flap landing or less flaps, allowing faster approach; or use the half gust factor plus normal approach speed for the approach). Keep one hand on throttle.

Common Errors

·         Attempting to land in crosswinds that exceed the airplane’s maximum demonstrated crosswind component

·         Inadequate compensation for wind drift on the turn from base leg to final approach, resulting in undershooting or overshooting

·         Inadequate compensation for wind drift on final approach

·         Unstabilized approach

·         Failure to compensate for increased drag during sideslip resulting in excessive sink rate and/or too low an airspeed

·         Touchdown while drifting

·         Excessive airspeed on touchdown

·         Failure to apply appropriate flight control inputs during rollout

·         Failure to maintain direction control on rollout

·         Excessive braking


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 8-13

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