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3 Answers

Crosswind Landing Roll-out

Asked by: 4439 views
Private Pilot

I have a questions about the landing roll-out after executing a crosswind landing.

I was instructed to use the side slip method to correct for wind drift.  I am competent and feel comfortable executing the landing in this configuration but what I don't like is the aircrafts behavior during the landing roll.

Lets use this scenario.  Landing a C-172 in a moderate right crosswind.  On short final I am established with right wing low and left rudder to maintain centerline alignment.  The upwind wheel touches down followed by the downwind wheel.

My experience is that after both main gear wheels are on the ground the airplane wants to continue moving to the left and I have to begin to correct with right rudder.  Aerodynamically this makes sense if I have not removed the left rudder input since the aircraft was landed in a forward motion and now the rudder is directing a left turn.  

I am obviously correcting for this sufficiently since I'm sitting here writing this question but I do tend to wander a ways off centerline if the crosswind is significant enough and I would like to correct that.  

I would assume the way to correct for this is to remove the left rudder input as both wheels come to rest on the ground but if anyone could provide a little more detail on the timing of that transition I would appreciate it.


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3 Answers

  1. Kent Shook on Nov 19, 2010

    As you touch down, the slight bank you had into the wind is going to go away, so there will be a lateral force wanting to push you to the left, and a yaw force wanting to push you to the right (“Weathervaning”). But if you touch down with any side-load on the gear, the weight of the airplane will want to yaw you to the left instead.

    What are you doing with the ailerons after landing? What you want to do is hold the same amount of *pressure* on the yoke toward the wind, but as you slow down, that same pressure will result in an increasing control *deflection* from center, until the yoke is all the way to the right (in your example). That will help to counteract the forces the crosswind is putting on you, and potentially help your yaw control in the process.

    So, lots of things are happening in quick succession – And you don’t have time to actually think about them. So, the real key is practice, practice, practice! As you train your brain to make the control inputs to make the plane go where you want it, you’ll find that it begins to happen automatically, and you’ll start making the right corrections earlier, which will keep you on the centerline.

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  2. Jason Schappert on Nov 19, 2010

    This is an awesome question! I want you to commit one thing to memory
    Upwind wheel first!
    You do this by lowering your wing into the wind slightly and keeping the nose straight using a bit of rudder pressure.
    Below is a great video that shows this…
    Crosswind Landings

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  3. Best Answer

    Wesley Beard on Nov 20, 2010

    I always say that you need to keep the nose of the airplane straight down the runway with rudder and keep yourself over the runway centerline with aileron.  Whatever it takes!
    I have been in some nasty winds that quickly shift while landing.  At some points during the landing, to keep the nose straight and over the centerline, I have both right rudder and right aileron in.  This of course is followed by another control input  and another… till I touch down.
    I promise that if you think this way on every landing whether there is wind or not it  will give you the right amount of correction as the wind shifts.   When you run out of rudder to keep the nose straight, it is time to find a different runway more aligned with the wind.

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