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Reduced Flaps for Landing with Gusts

Asked by: 782 views General Aviation

I've heard both sides of the argument. What are reasons and pros/cons of using partial flaps for landing in gusty conditions. Thank you.

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1 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Skyfox on Jun 15, 2016

    I was always trained the same way, to use partial flaps or no flaps at all when landing in a stiff crosswind or gusty conditions. All I can remember for the reasoning is better control response, flaps can aerodynamically hide the tail control surfaces, and it results in a higher final approach and touchdown speed to help keep the aircraft away from stall speed in case of an errant gust.

    The only thing in text I can find about the subject (while I’m at work; my stack of text books is at home) is from the Airplane Flying Handbook [FAA-H-8083-3B]:

    “Flaps can and should be used during most approaches since they tend to have a stabilizing effect on the airplane. The degree to which flaps should be extended will vary with the airplane’s handling characteristics, as well as the wind velocity.”

    Over the years when going up for practice flights in the small things I’m used to flying, quite often, even on a calm day, I’d practice partial- and no-flap landings just to keep it fresh in my mind how the plane would handle at those higher speeds on landing without the benefit of flaps, whether a future landing requires it due to high winds or flap extension malfunction. Larger aircraft will likely be operated with full flap landings in all wind conditions.

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