i figured out that a few of you have some problems maintaining directional control during take off and/ or landing in strong crosswind conditions. I think there are a few tutorials already available and if someone thinks this “refresher” is a duplicate then please remove or close this topic.
I recorded a few videos from different view points that will show you when and how to use a combination of Rudder and Ailerons/ Flaperons, the flight control surfaces that play a major role in here. I will show you only the most popular crosswind landing technique.
If not absolutely necessary, do not use 100% take off thrust, try it out on casual or solo first using a thrust setting of around 85%-95%. Not only that it is not realistically, using a lower power setting has the advantage of a more slower acceleration, this having the advantage that the moment when the crosswind starts affecting your take off run will set it much more smoothly, giving you much more time to make corrections with your rudder. If you take off like a rocket, the crosswind will come into affect within a split of a second with full force giving you nearly no chance to correct the situation, because until you recognize what happened you are already pushed over the left or right edge of the runway.
We are on Runway 23 in NZAA. The wind reads as followed: 266/42, means we have wind from the front right in an angel of 30 degress and a speed of 42 knots, which makes it a crosswind of around 21kts.
To stay now on the centerline during take off and landing and not having the danger of being blown away to the side of the runway we need to do the following before setting take off power:
Turn your control wheel or side stick into the wind, means in this case to the right.
That will move our ailerons/ flaperons on the left wing down and on the right wing up:
It is now important to actually hold them in this position during the entire take off roll.
We are cleared for take off, take off power is set.
As we are accelerating down the runway, with the control wheel/ side stick still to the right, we need to apply now a Rudder input to the LEFT, means the slider for the rudder to the left.
The wind wants to push the fixed horizontal stabilizer with its large surface into the direction of the wind- to the left, and that would push our nose to the right. With the rudder deflected to the left we compensate that wind force because the deflected rudder moves our horizontal stabilizer back to centerline.
Using the rudder is now the most complicated part of our take off as you have to “feel” when and how much rudder input is needed. When you watch the video you will see what i mean.
Now why do we still need to put the control wheel or side stick into the wind, to the right ?
When we have the wind ,like in our example, coming from the right and forward, the wind will stream around the upper and lower surface of our right wing- more then at our left wing which is in the shadow of the fuselage. This wind generates more lift on the right wing then on the left wing- means, the right wing wants to “fly” more early compared to the left wing. And with the ailerons on the right side moved to the UP position we force the wing to maintain in its position Instead of moving up, we keep our wings level.
And with this combination, the rudder to the left and the controls to the right, we maintain longitudinal control and follow the runway’s centerline until we reach Vr and V2 and lift off the runway
. After lift off you can slowly release the rudder , the wind will push now our vertical stabilizer to the left and the nose will point to the right. Looks sometimes quiet spectacular, but is nothing to worry about. Since the aircraft turned itself into the wind the same is now going with a nearly identical speed over both wings generating an equal lift vector
. But what to expect in the moment after lift off when the aircraft turns its nose into the wind?
What we tried to counteract during our take off roll with the use of the rudder and ailerons, we now want to let it happen: The aircraft turning around its vertical axis to the right. This is why you have to expect the left wing to move up direct after take off and the right wing will lower. Why? Because the wind pushes the tail to the left, the left wing will move forward , accelerating and producing more lift.
Remember that we turned our control wheel to the right into the wind during the take off run?
It is now important as soon as we rotate and are about to leave the ground that we turn our control wheel back to neutral and maybe even to the left , otherwise the aircraft would roll too sharp to the right and this could cause a wing tip strike with the ground especially during gusty winds.
When we finally have all gears in the air and reached 400-500 feet above ground it’s time for the “ gear up” call and while holding the control wheel in neutral with slight or even a steady movements to the left we climb out in the direction of the runway centerline and make our way following our departure route.
We are approaching now the same runway from where we took off earlier, the aircraft is flying with its nose into the wind, means the aircraft turned to the right around its vertical axis.
In this position and angel we can fly the aircraft down towards our touch down point and then we wait for the call outs of our radio altimeter: 500…400…300…200… ( now the captain should call “ minimums” and “ continue “ ) …100…50…40…30…20…
The “ Ten “ call, that is the one we are waiting for, this means for you as the pilot in command: Action. When you here this “ TEN “ feet above ground call, you move the slider for the rudder fast to the LEFT to move the nose of your aircraft to the left and therefore align the nose with the runway centerline.After you pushed your rudder to the left try also to lower your right wing just a little bit by turning your control wheel to the right.
It is important that you touch down in exactly this moment!
Altitude call outs in feet:
30… Begin your Flare
10… Rudder left or right
1 second later: Touchdown
All what you need for a successful crosswind Landing is the rudder, the ailerons / flaperons , the nose of your aircraft aligned with the centerline…and some practice… If the nose is not aligned you will run into a lot of problems after touchdown and your landing might end with a “ taxi speed warning “ ;)
Below now the videos which include several different views.
Landing Video from inside the cockpit, look especially at the rudder pedals short before touchdown.
Take off view from outside and from top of the vertical stabilizer
Landing from outside and from top of the vertical stabilizer