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7 Answers

Base to final turn

Asked by: 5386 views
General Aviation

Can a strong cross wind gust on the downward wing during this turn cause the plane to go into a stall?

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7 Answers

  1. Steve Pomroy on Jan 15, 2011

    Hi Elizabeth.
    Technically, yes, this could happen.  However, approach speeds are selected to give you an adequate margin from the stall.  If you’re controlling your airspeed properly, you should be fine.  If you’re conducting an approach in gusty conditions, it’s not unreasonable to increase your approach speed by 1/2 of your gust factor.  This will give you an additional margin to allow for airspeed fluctuations due to gusts.  Just remember that this extra airspeed will mean a longer floating period during your roundout and flare.
    As a further consideration, remember that increased load factor will also increase your stall speed.  So lead your turn to final enough to ensure that you’ll never need an angle of bank greater than 30 degrees.  The best way to do this is to plan on using 20 degrees of bank.  This will give you a 10 degree margin if you misjudge.
    The bottom line here is that if you are aware of the conditions you are flying in , and control the aircraft accordingly, you will be safe from stalling.

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  2. Elizabeth on Jan 16, 2011

    Thanks very much, Steve. Increase speed by 1/2 of gust factor and 20 degree bank! Cheers 🙂

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  3. SkyBoy98046 on Jan 16, 2011

    I agree with much of what Steve states. But in reading your question I read; on a left turn from base to final, would a crosswind from your left cause a stall.

    Well the answer would be no. Wind shear could at low speeds. A crosswind in not wind shear. If anything, this crosswind, which gradually decreasing in angle as you continue the turn, if likely to push you past centerline which often requires a dangerous correction back to centerline.

    The important items to remember are, maintain proper airspeed and most importantly, coordination.

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  4. SkyBoy98046 on Jan 16, 2011

    One additional comment. If you don’t know your gust factor on a final approach. How can one increase their airspeed accordingly. Fly the plane. Feel what the wind is doing to it and adjust only that which is necessary to maintain the elements I spoke of before. Proper airspeed and coordination. And like Steve said, landing at a higher than recommended approach airspeed, also extends the landing distance which should be a consideration at airports with small runways.

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  5. Elizabeth on Jan 17, 2011

    Thanks all! I’m really grateful for your advice and comments. I was doing my first solo. The wind was gusting 20degrees off the centreline and just as I turned right to final the wing dipped quite suddenly. It happened on both attempts to turn to final and quite unnerved me. My CFI said it was probably just a gust of wind and not to worry about it. But I now seem to be developing a fear of right turns to final. Thanks to this forum, I now feel I have some tools to deal with this part of my circuit practise.

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  6. SkyBoy98046 on Jan 18, 2011

    It takes time to feel comfortable. It’ll come. 20 knot wind are not serious. Maintain airspeed & coordination and you’ll be just fine. Ask your instructor to spend a little extra time on this subject, in gusty winds. It’s the only way you’ll learn. happy flying!

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  7. Elizabeth on Jan 18, 2011

    Thanks for your support!

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