Nothing seems to create more ink or anguish than the subject of crosswind landings. The FAA says, “The longitudinal axis of the airplane must be parallel to the direction of travel.” This is an engineer’s way of saying the wheels and the landing gear won’t take it kindly if you touch down sideways.
As you’ll read from the other blogs and readers, there are only basically two ways to do this: slip or crab. It’s all a matter of timing and proficiency. For new pilots, most instructors will recommend the slip or wing low method, which gives them time to line up, get a feel for the wind and the control pressures, and then decide if they and the aircraft can manage. The crab or “kickout at the last minute” requires good timing and a relationship with the aircraft.
The most common error that I’ve observed is that everyone does fine until they start the flare and then forget to hold the wing down through the landing because in non-crosswind conditions we’re always told to keep the wings level.
It’s hard to arrange a crosswind for practice where and when you need and not be contrary to traffic at a nontowered airport. The best way to manage this that I’ve found in busier parts of the country is to go to a nearby towered airport, if one is reasonably close, on a windy day and work the crosswind runway.
No need for me to belabor here as you’ll read, in depth, all the tips, secrets, and “guaranteed” methods that imagination and experience can conjure. Just keep in mind that we bend more metal in crosswind landing accidents than almost any other phase of flight, and action will always speak louder than hangar flying.
Happy Landings ….