Tom Horne

X-Wind technique–It all depends

April 17, 2008 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

It depends on what I’m flying. The smaller the plane–the lighter the wing loading, more to the point–the more I’m apt to crab it in, then kick out the crab and land it in the wing-low, opposite rudder move.

Heavier airplanes, or airplanes with higher wing loadings, seem to handle crosswinds better. So I’ll slip these usually as the runway draws near, then sort out the landing technique just before touchdown.

Also, the strength of the crosswind component is important, of course. I just landed a Lear 60XR in 40-knot winds blowing 45 degrees off the runway heading. Not much control deflection was required, but the timing was more critical because things are happening much faster–final approach speed was 140 knots (owing to the gust factor).

Light planes make you work harder because your speeds are slower and so you spend more time in the flare.

In another big difference, heavier airplanes stay put when they land. Lighter planes can reach flying speed in strong winds!

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2 Responses to “X-Wind technique–It all depends”

  1. Alan D. Resnicke Says:

    “In another big difference, heavier airplanes stay put when they land.”
    You’re kidding, right Tom? Didn’t you see the endlessly replayed video of the A330 (?) “landing” in Germany with a horrendous crosswind. All of the media-types said the pilot did a great job saving the craft, crew and passengers from certain destruction. I’m wondering why he attempted the stunt in the first place!

  2. shonieceilush Says:

    Super post. I will come back again soon!!

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