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2 Answers

Confused with wind direction.

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Student Pilot

Hi guys! Today I got a little confused with the wind direction and the active runway. Lets say I have runway 13/31 and I have the following metar: 060000Z 14020G30KT 9999 BKN030 25/18 Q1015 = Here the wind direction is 140, meaning it is blowing from the northwest to the southeast, right? So.. if my wind is coming from heading 140 I should land against it, on runway 31, is that ok or I got it wrong? I was watching my local airport traffic today and with that metar they were using runway 13, I know that winds are not the only thing to pickup the active runway..but since they were 20kts gusting 30, I though that rwy 31 would be in use. That got me really confused and I wanted to be sure I understand it correctly. Thank you guys!!

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2 Answers



  1. Russ Roslewski on Jan 07, 2016

    You have it backwards, a common misunderstanding.

    The wind is specified as where it’s coming FROM. So, it’s FROM 140, meaning it’s blowing from southeast to northwest. Because of this, departing runway 13 (heading 130, so the airplane is pointing and flying southeast) would be preferable, as this means the airplane would be taking off almost directly into the wind.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Jan 07, 2016

    It seems this is my day for pointing out that not everything is just about aviation.

    Listen to the weather forecast on your local news tonight. When they talk about the winds, you’ll find they always talk about the direction the winds are coming from. It’s simply the way wind direction is discussed, I think internationally for all purposes.

    Back to aviation – this is good news for us. If the ATIS winds are 140 we know we want the runway that is close to that number (after dropping that zero) and we don’t have to figure out the reciprocal first. And if there is a crosswind, we do;t have to do much math to figure out which is rear and which is front quartering.

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