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Takeoffs and Landings with quartering Tailwind….

Asked by: 477 views Aerodynamics, Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot, Weather

Obviously frowned upon, and yes, the easy/smart answer is to NOT takeoff in the first place. But I'm speaking strictly aerodynamics and technique here.

But at some airports, such as larger airports where runway selection is not up to YOU, and airports where you can only land one direction, and depart in the opposite direction...what is the "proper" or safest yoke placement for taking off with a quartering tailwind.

Lets say a quartering LEFT tailwind.

Do you place left aileron up? Down? Neutral? Start off Up, through neutral as you rotate, and then aileron down (or vice versa)?

Is the elevator neutral? Up? Down?

Does the same apply for landing? I seem to recall landing with a left quartering tailwind and touching down right rudder (aligned with runway), and left aileron up. If above statement is accurate, when rolling out on landing and slowing to taxi speed, when would it be okay to switch over to the dive away method (as published everywhere)?

FAA airplane flying handbook doesn't seem to address this (at least not the version I have). I can't seem to find any good/reliable/sensible answers anywhere and have driven myself crazy going around in circles with this question.

What say you?

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1 Answers



  1. Mark Kolber on Oct 28, 2017

    The answer is simply that when you are taxiing, you need a taxi crosswind correction and when flying you need a flying crosswind correction.

    On takeoff, it’s less complicated. For rolling, you use the taxi correction and, and the technique many folks use for any crosswind: keep the airplane on the ground a little longer and rotate to get the airplane into the air without skipping. Once in the air, just as with a regular crosswind, you transition to a crab.

    On landing, assuming you are going to do a crosswind slip at some point (even if only a second or two), the crosswind slip has to accomplish what it always does – prevent drift and keep you longitudinally aligned. Even if the crosswind is rear quartering, it will push you and you need to put the wing into the wind. But after touchdown, you need to change to the taxi position, which will have you moving the stick to the other side.

    I was lucky enough to teach at an airport with good crosswinds and tried to do a rear quartering crosswind landing each of my students.

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