Landing with tailwinds

Hey everyone!

I recently did a short (ish) lesson with my step grandfather (who was a pilot) in IF, (I was flying a SR22) and when doing patterns I told him we would land in a 6kt tailwind. He said: “oh! We don’t want that!”

So my question is, does 6kts really affect a smaller plane’s performance?

I know you should never land with a tailwind, but in a larger plane does 6kts really matter? Is there a speed where it begins to matter?

(I’m not talking about closed (red) runways)



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On my opinion, a 6kt tailwind lets say for a 777 isn’t going to be much. But for an SR-22, it could be a lot.

Those little babies bounce around a lot ;)


This is a fair question to ask, and you have kind of given yourself a reason to one of the questions I’m gonna answer.

  1. The tailwind speed always matters, as the PFD gives your IAS, and it affects your ground speed (next point). You never land with a tailwind (well maybe for emergencies)
  2. If you have a tailwind, it increases your ground speed. This means you need more runway to stop. This article talks about it perfectly:
    safety - Why is tailwind during final approach and landing so dangerous? - Aviation Stack Exchange

I hope this answers your question, happy crosswind or headwind landings!


Short answer Yes it really effects a planes landing performance.


Larger aircraft are not as affected by tailwind landings as small aircraft. I don’t think I’d ever want to land with a tailwind in an SR22.

Airliners as small as the A320 however, can land in tailwinds up to 10kts, provided the runway is long enough to compensate for the extra ground speed.

As a side note, red runways are not closed, it’s simply an indication of wind ;)


How much would a 6kt tailwind affect the slowing process? I can’t imagine it would be dramatic.

6KT might require some rudder

A little, but not much. Think about how long it takes to slow down by 6kts on the runway with reverse thrusters, a fraction of a second. In an airliner, you wouldn’t have a problem as long as the runway is long enough.

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try lading a 777 22KT tail wind at o hare Chicago INT 22r I nearly over shot

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And that’s why a 10kt tailwind is the limit 😂


That’s exactly the number I was looking for. Thanks everyone!

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For an airliner that’s the limit you are talking about a SR-22. I don’t think I’d argue your grandpa on this one.


Like I said, I’d never land an SR22 in a tailwind

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Challenge Accepted…

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With a 6kt tailwind , you would be landing 12kts faster than with the same headwind. Fairly significant on shorter runways

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Along with having to land at a faster speed, I realized reverse thrust really loses its effect. From the Cessna 208 to the 777, reverse thrust while landing with tailwinds wasn’t much of a help, and towards the end of the runway I was forced burn some brakes. (I use around 80% reverse thrust btw)

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