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Tips for cosswind landings; Landing on Centerline; and Turns about a point/S-Turns

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General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Dear CFI GURU,

 

I've been having a heck of a time landind correctly in crosswinds. Ive been using the crab to wing low (side slip) method. What do you recommend on that? Part of the PTS is xwind landing both ways: 1)Crab (on final) then straighten it out and lower upwind wing and straighten longitudal axis with rudder, or; 2)Foward slip then straighten it out before touchdown. Which of the two do you recommend? I figured from a commercial standpoint (which is what we all aspire to become) the Crab to "Wing-Low" Method is more preferrable so the people dont feel squished. Ive even hear about doing a Side Slip all the way in, and I've tried but i always end up to far upwind.

 

That bring me to my second question, Landing on Cenerline. I used to land left, now I land to the right ever since I first went Solo.

 

Lastly, I feel stupid for asking, but do you have any tips for . Turns about a point and S-Turns? Especially right turns.

 

In advance, thank you for your help

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2 Answers



  1. Brian on Oct 29, 2012

    “Which of the two do you recommend?”

    Crab with a transition to wing low. Mainly for comfort I find it easier.

    ” I’ve tried but i always end up to far upwind.”

    Use less of a sleep. The degree of slip needed will match the crosswind. More crosswind, more slip and vice versa.

    “That bring me to my second question, Landing on Cenerline. I used to land left, now I land to the right ever since I first went Solo.”

    What are you looking at? I suspect your eyes are not down the runway, but instead focused more on the centerline. Look about a foot above the runway just as you touch down.

    “Lastly, I feel stupid for asking, but do you have any tips for . Turns about a point and S-Turns? Especially right turns.”

    If you’re interested, e-mail me @ bkonsko@gmail.com and I can give you a lesson write up that I believe will help you tremendously here.

    The long and short of it is, don’t think too much and remember it’s a ground reference maneuver. In other words, fly over points on the ground, don’t focus at the points you’re flying around, but instead pick points equal distance to that point that form a circle/arc, and fly over them.

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  2. Wes Beard on Oct 30, 2012

    Crosswind landing are difficult because it requires the pilot to have mastered normal takeoffs and landings first as well as tracking our course over the ground. I don’t think it is a coincidence that you are having difficulty with ground reference maneuvers as well as crosswind takeoffs and landings.

    Starting with ground reference maneuvers, the main trick to to setup the airplane to fly trimmed with hands off the yoke… meaning when you let go of the yoke, the airplane will stay on heading and altitude; airspeed should be steady with constant power. On the ground reference maneuvers, keep your ground track by use of coordinated aileron and rudder and looking outside the aircraft. These maneuvers are 95% looking outside and only 5% looking at altitude, heading and airspeed.

    It’s quite possible that you aren’t trimming correctly. Proper trim technique requires you to “manhandle” the airplane and place it in the correct pitch attitude (outside the airplane) holding the force necessary to keep the airplane there. Once that is accomplished, slowly trim to relieve control pressure. When you are no longer forcing the airplane to stay where you want it to, the airplane is trimmed. Let go of the yoke and see what happens.

    In regards to crosswind landings, to me there is only one technique for both normal and crosswind landings and are both using the side slip method. This method requires that you use rudder to keep the nose tracking parallel to the runway and aileron to keep you over the centerline. If you think about it, a normal landing is the same except that you don’t really need to add rudder or aileron but the principle is still the same. Add rudder first and then add aileron to keep yourself over the centerline. With your instructor, practice staying 50 feet off the ground tracking the centerline with the nose pointed straight down the centerline.

    Lastly, the airplane flying handbook has some great information on these subjects.
    http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aircraft/airplane_handbook/

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