Al Marsh

The most awful crosswinds on the face of the Earth

April 16, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

One word; Maui. I went out there to do a crosswinds article a few years ago (I used my frequent flyer miles) and what I had heard was true. A Cessna 210 months earlier had been sitting in the runup area with the engine at full power (engine test), and it flipped on its back. Wasn’t even moving. Calm morning winds are those at 10 to 12 knots, while normal midday winds are usually 30 knots. My instructor suggested entering a sideslip while still at 100 feet when landing┬áto see if the winds were too powerful to maintain the center line. If they are, come up with plan B, like another runway or airport. Airplanes don’t land as much as they play elevator, descending at very low or no ground speed. Once on the ground it takes everything you can remember about taxiing in high winds to make it to the FBO. Routine day in paradise.

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One Response to “The most awful crosswinds on the face of the Earth”

  1. Robert Geohagan Says:

    Some years ago I was flying the owner and his sick wife from Illinois to Texas in a Commander, I don`t remember the model number but it was the big one with Lycoming engines. The trip was IFR untl we broke out at Little Rock for a refueling. The storm had just passed the airport and only one runway was in use and I was given clearance to use it. As I was lining up with the runway, in a terrific crab angle, the tower calmly informed me the wind was 40 knots at right angle to the runway, I continued the approach and just before touchdown went to the slip method, touch down was uneventful, I had no problem keeping the airplane straight down the runway. I must give credit to the airplane and the large, very effective, rudder on it. Also my 40 years flight experience helped.

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